Historically, there were some 22 dragonfly or damselfly species recorded in the Yass Valley region. More recently, however, these have dwindled to just 10: the blue-spotted hawker, Australian emperor, eastern billabongfly, metallic ringtail, wandering percher, Australian emerald, tau emerald, common bluetail, orange threadtail, and the blue skimmer.
Dragonflies are great to have around your garden as they are insect-eating machines. Dragonflies and dragonfly larvae particularly love to eat mosquitoes. Adult dragonflies also eat White Cabbage butterflies and other flying insects, which they grab in mid-air.
If you want to attract dragonflies to your backyard, establish a pond. Take a big bottleful of water from an older pond and tip it into a new one to introduce aquatic insects. It’s best to give them their own pond as fish will eat dragonfly larvae swimming underwater.
Plant native aquatic plants in your pond, as well as border plants that are semi-submerged. This helps dragonfly larvae to pull themselves out of the water. There are a number of native plants – water lilies, rushes, sedges, and reeds – that can make your pond an ideal dragonfly habitat. These plants also help keep the water clean and fresh.
If you have a farm dam, consider fencing stock away from part or all of it to create a habitat zone. This can also be done by piling fallen timber and logs around one section, both above and below the waterline.
Yass Native Nursery is not yet selling aquatic native plants; from 2020 we’ll have a range of suitable plants to place around your pond or farm dam to assist creating habitat and a home for dragonflies. We hope to have a range of localised aquatic plants available from late 2020.
For more information
- Dragonflies – https://www.backyardbuddies.org.au/backyard-buddies/dragonflies
- Water plants – http://www.act.waterwatch.org.au/Water%20Plants.html