Petalura gigantea - endangered species listing amendment
The Scientific Committee established by the Threatened Species Conservation Act has made a determination to amend the description of the Giant Dragonfly Petalura gigantea (Leach, 1815), which is currently listed as an endangered species in Part 1 of Schedule 1 (Endangered species) of the Act, and to add the species Petalura litorea Theischinger 1999 to Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Act. This determination is made pursuant to Division 5 of Part 2 of the Act.
The Scientific Committee has found that:
1. Petalura gigantea (Leach, 1815) was inserted in Part 1 Schedule 1 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act following a Final Determination of the Scientific Committee in 1998 (NSW Government Gazette No. 16, 30th January 1998, page 463).
2. In 1999 Theischinger showed that P. gigantea (Leach, 1815), as recognised in the Final Determination, consisted of two taxa, Petalura litorea Theischinger 1999 and a more narrowly defined P. gigantea (Leach, 1815).
3. P. litorea is described by Theischinger (1999) as:
Male: Dimensions: Hindwing 52.0-55.3 mm; abdomen (including appendages) 70.5-78.7 mm. Head: Labium, labrum, base of mandibles, upper portion of antefrons, anterior portion of postfrons and sides of postgenae yellow; clypeus, apex of mandibles, genae, lower portion of antefrons, posterior portion of postfrons, vertex, antennae, occiput and dorsal portion of postgenae from dark brown to black. Yellow upper portion of antefrons markedly narrower than black lower portion (subdivision by kind of spinulate or scaly, well-developed edge). Prothorax: Pronotum largely brown to black, only narrow rim of anterior lobe and medial portion of posterior lobe dull yellow. Leg black. Synthorax: Dark brown, yellow stripes alongside dorsal carina, on mesepimeron and metepimeron. Legs black. Antealar sinus generally well differentiated into smaller yellow anterior portion and larger shiny black posterior portion. Wings: Typical for the genus Petalura, with bases, venation and pterostigma dark brown to black and membrane hyaline. Anal loop of hindwing generally (>85%) made up of 2, rarely of 3 cells. Abdomen: Terga 1-7 generally uniformly black with well-defined mid-dorsal and lateral yellow longitudinal lines or patches and with rather well defined basal and subapical yellow transverse lines. Genital hamules with apical portion rather narrow and base rather wide. Terga 4-7 with mid-dorsal line triangular basally, then very thin or obscured. Tergum 8 almost black, each side with two well-defined lateral patches, the smaller irregular and anterior to, the larger subtriangular and posterior to supplementary transverse carina. Tergum 9 largely yellow; segment 10 largely black. Anal appendages rather uniformly brown; superiors wider than median length of distal portion; basal portion of ventral edge longer than distal portion of ventral edge.
Female: Dimensions: Hindwing 48.9-58.7 mm; abdomen (including appendages) 59.2-73.9 mm. Head: Much as in male. Thorax: Much as in male. Wings: Much as in male. Anal angle missing. Abdomen: Much as in male (apart from largely brown to black sexual organs and anal appendages). Tergum 8 largely black, with well-defined yellow posterolateral patch.
4. P. gigantea, in the narrow sense, as revised is described by Theischinger 1999 as:
Male: Head: Yellow upper portion of antefrons markedly wider than black lower portion (subdivision by kind of spinulate or scaly, moderately well to ill developed edge). Synthorax: Antealar sinus generally uniformly brown. Wings: Anal loop of hindwing generally (>90%) made up of 3 cells, rarely of 2 or 4 cells. Abdomen: Terga 1-7 generally brown to black with basal portion paler than apical portion; with moderately well-defined mid-dorsal and lateral brownish yellow longitudinal lines or patches and with rather ill-defined, often obscured, basal and subapical brownish yellow transverse lines. Genital hamules with both, apical portion and base, moderately wide. Terga 4-7 generally with mid-dorsal line almost parallel sided from base to apex. Tergum 8 generally blackish brown, with single ill-defined lateral patch across the whole length of segment. Anal appendages: Superiors with base black and rest brown, not wider than median length of distal portion; basal portion of ventral edge shorter than distal portion of ventral edge. Inferior appendage largely brownish yellow.
Female: Head: Much as in male. Synthorax: Much as in male. Wings: Much as in male. Anal angle missing. Abdomen: Much as in male (apart from largely brown to black sexual organs and anal appendages). Tergum 8 largely black, generally with yellow mid-dorsal line and with ill-defined, often large, lateral patch.
5. P. litorea is known from south east Queensland and a population at Brooms Head, New South Wales. P gigantea, in the narrower sense, is known from eastern New South Wales.
6. P. gigantea, as previously recognised was listed as an endangered species. The Scientific Committee is of the opinion that the component taxa, as described by Theischinger (1999), both meet the criteria for listing as endangered species.
7. The Scientific Committee is of the opinion that an amendment and addition to the Schedule is necessary or desirable to reflect a reclassification of a species into further species as a result of taxonomic revision. In view of the taxonomic revision, Petalura gigantea (Leach, 1815) as listed in Part 1 of Schedule 1 (endangered species) of the Act is amended to include those individuals satisfying the description provided by Theischinger (1999), and that Petalura litorea Theischinger 1999 is inserted in Part 1 of Schedule 1 (endangered species).
Associate Professor Lesley Hughes
Proposed Gazettal date: 08/12/06
Exhibition period: 08/12/06 - 09/02/07
Theischinger, G. (1999) A new species of Petalura Leach from south-eastern Queensland (Odonata: Petaluridae) Linzer biol Beitr. 31: 159-166
Page last updated: 28 February 2011