An­cient in­sect found

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today -

THE dis­cov­ery in Vic­to­ria’s west of a tiny drag­on­fly which is the only liv­ing ex­am­ple of a 250-mil­lion-year-old species has lifted hopes the in­sect is mov­ing away from the brink of ex­tinc­tion.

The An­cient Green­ling dam­sel­fly mea­sures just 2.4 cen­time­tres long and is found in only a hand­ful of sites across Vic­to­ria, South Aus­tralia and Tas­ma­nia. Hard to spot be­cause of its tiny size and clever cam­ou­flage, the me­tal­lic green drag­on­fly has been de­tected in wet­lands at Vic­to­ria’s Grampians to the de­light of sci­en­tists and en­thu­si­asts.

The An­cient Green­ling drag­on­fly is the only liv­ing rel­a­tive of the Hemiphlebi­idae fam­ily, whose pre­de­ces­sors are found only in 250-mil­lion-year-old fos­sil records from Brazil to Rus­sia.

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