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Giant Dragonfly, Petalura gigantea

This is a female, the males have a petal shaped appendage at the end of the abdomen. I was working on a dead specimen until this girl settled on the orchid on the verandah. She seemed to like the cymbidium so I grabbed the tripod, she stayed there in the shade for around 24 hours then left.

"The Giant Dragonfly or South-eastern Petaltail, Petalura gigantea, is one of the world’s largest dragonflies, with the males having an abdomen 6 – 7.5 cm long and a wingspan up to 11 cm, while females have an abdomen 8 – 9.5 cm long and a wingspan up to 12.5 cm.
The giant dragonfly occurs along the east coast of NSW from the Victorian border to northern NSW, and is not found west of the Great Dividing Range. There are known occurrences in the Blue Mountains and Southern Highlands, in the Clarence River catchment, and on a few coastal swamps from north of Grafton to Nadgee in the south. It is unusual not only in size, but also in having predominantly terrestrial habits at the larval stage. The Giant Dragonfly is listed as endangered under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petalura_gigantea

"The petaltails of the family Petaluridae are apparently the most ancient of the extant true dragonflies (infraorder Anisoptera), having fossil members from as early as the Jurassic (over 150 million years ago)." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petaluridae

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