Xanthocnemis zealandica (Common Redcoat)

One of [four] two Redcoat damselflies which are endemic to New Zealand, Xanthocnemis zealandica is the only widespread one of them being recorded extensively on both North and South Islands. This was certainly our most frequently encountered odo in New Zealand.

Two former relatives had a very limited distribution, X. sinclairi (Alpine Redcoat) being recorded only at the headwaters of the Rakaia river on South Island and X. sobrina (Kauri Redcoat) being limited to the Kauri forests of Northland and the Coromandel on North island. In 2014 and 2016 both of these former species were reclassified as being X. zealandica (Common Redcoat).

The formerly fourth, now second redcoat species, X. tuanii (Chatham Redcoat) is limited to Chatham Island 500mls/800kms east of South Island and is still regarded as a distinct species.

Having agonized about our first redcoat encounters at the Gilmour Reserve potentially being X. sobrina – these individuals struck us as relatively large, which X. sobrina was originally said to be – the reclassification has removed our debate.

in tandem