DragonflyPix

Unicorn Darner (Austroaeschna unicornis)

The Unicorn Darner (Austroaeschna unicornis) is a dragonfly species of the family Telephlebiidae and Brachytronidae, which contains 37 species in Australia.

The identification key to the family Telephlebiidae and Brachytronidae consists of 37 couplets, 15 of which are pertinent to Austroaeschna unicornis. Click on the numbers on the right to display the corresponding couplets. Or click on the ALLin1 button to see all the relevant couplets together in a single, scrollable window.

#FamilySpeciesCouplet No.
 Telephlebiidae and BrachytronidaeUnicorn Darner
(Austroaeschna unicornis)
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 1 of 37

  • couplet drawing
  • ● No crossveins in median space
  • b ↑
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 9 of 37

  • couplet drawing
  • ○ Wings hyaline
    ● Two to four, occasionally five, cells in triangles and hypertriangles
  • b ↑
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 11 of 37

  • couplet drawingcouplet drawing
  • ● Both wings with a single supplementary radial vein (Rspl)
    ● Posterior angle of hindwing triangle and 1A joined by a short crossvein
  • b ↑
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 12 of 37

  • couplet drawingcouplet drawing
  • ● Male with three or fewer, or without, distinct longitudinal dorsal ridges on segment 10
    ○ Anal appendages of female shorter than to slightly longer than segment 10
    ● Supra-anal plate rounded to subtriangular

    ⇒ genus: Austroaeschna and Dromaeschna
  • a ↑
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 13 of 37

  • ○ Abdominal segments 9 and 10 and anal appendages largely dark brown or black
  • b ↑
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 14 of 37

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  • ● Front of synthorax with one or two pale stripes over virtually the entire length on each side, or pale patches with or without a long pale stripe
    ● Abdominal terga 3-8 either lacking basal pale marks, or with both basal and central or distal marks

    ⇒ genus: Austroaeschna and Dromaeschna
  • b ↑
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 17 of 37

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  • ● Side of synthorax with either unequal, pale stripes or pale patches on a dark background
  • b ↑
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 18 of 37

  • couplet drawing
  • ● Top of frons dark brown to black in centre and along anterior and posterior margins, otherwise pale, broadly continuous with pale lateral patch at side of anterior frons
  • b ↑
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 28 of 37

  • couplet drawingcouplet drawing
  • ● Postgenae pale immediately behind eye-margin
    ● One or two distinct, long, antehumeral stripes on each side
  • a ↑
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 29 of 37

  • couplet drawing
  • ● Mesokatepisternum brown with yellow patch
    ○ Profemur brown to black above and at sides, pale below
  • b ↑
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 30 of 37

  • couplet drawingcouplet drawing
  • ● Lateral stripe on synthorax constricted and slightly curved at about its middle
    ● Abdominal segments 3-7 brown, darkened around pale spots on supplementary transverse carina
    ○ A warmly coloured dragonfly, with very long abdomen

    ⇒ species: Unicorn Darner (Austroaeschna unicornis) (part)
  • a ↑
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 30 of 37

  • couplet drawingcouplet drawing
  • ● Lateral stripe on synthorax not constricted, more or less parallel sided
    ● Dark regions of abdominal segments 3-7 of male largely black, paler distally
  • b ↑
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 31 of 37

  • couplet drawingcouplet drawingcouplet drawing
  • ● Pale spots on abdominal tergum 8 extensive, about half as long as the tergum
    ● Male inferior appendage short, truncate
  • a ↑
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 32 of 37

  • ○ From Queensland south of 20°S
  • b ↑
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 33 of 37

  • couplet drawing
  • ● Lower pale mesepimeral mark a substantial patch

    ⇒ species: Unicorn Darner (Austroaeschna unicornis) (part)
  • a ↑
1  
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 1 of 37

  • couplet drawing
  • ● Crossveins present in median space
a ↑
b ↓
  • couplet drawing
  • ● No crossveins in median space

2  
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 9 of 37

  • couplet drawing
  • ○ Wings with dark band just behind anterior margin
    ● Six to twelve cells in triangles and hypertriangles

    ⇒ genus: Austrophlebia
a ↑
b ↓
  • couplet drawing
  • ○ Wings hyaline
    ● Two to four, occasionally five, cells in triangles and hypertriangles

3  
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 11 of 37

  • couplet drawingcouplet drawing
  • ● Both wings with two supplementary radial veins (Rspl1 and Rspl2)
    ● Posterior angle of hindwing triangle meeting 1A

    ⇒ species: Thylacine Darner (Acanthaeschna victoria)
a ↑
b ↓
  • couplet drawingcouplet drawing
  • ● Both wings with a single supplementary radial vein (Rspl)
    ● Posterior angle of hindwing triangle and 1A joined by a short crossvein

4  
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 12 of 37

  • couplet drawingcouplet drawing
  • ● Male with three or fewer, or without, distinct longitudinal dorsal ridges on segment 10
    ○ Anal appendages of female shorter than to slightly longer than segment 10
    ● Supra-anal plate rounded to subtriangular

    ⇒ genus: Austroaeschna and Dromaeschna
a ↑
b ↓
  • couplet drawingcouplet drawing
  • ● Male with five distinct longitudinal dorsal ridges on segment 10
    ○ Anal appendages of female at least twice as long as segment 10 (sometimes broken, thus appearing short)
    ● Supra-anal plate ending in long prominent spine

5  
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 13 of 37

  • ○ Abdominal segments 9 and 10 and anal appendages bright ochreous or rusty red-brown
    ○ Synthorax dark brown with jade green markings, all but last abdominal segments dark brown and ochreous

    ⇒ species: Ochre-Tipped Darner (Dromaeschna weiskei)
a ↑
b ↓
  • ○ Abdominal segments 9 and 10 and anal appendages largely dark brown or black

6  
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 14 of 37

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  • ● Synthorax in front of mesopleural suture with a single yellow or yellowish green stripe over virtually its entire length on each side and, commonly, a small spot of the same colour beside it, near its upper end
    ● Abdominal terga 3-8 (male) or 3-7 (female) with one pair of pale spots, widely separated at base of segment

    ⇒ genus: Austroaeschna
a ↑
b ↓
  • couplet drawingcouplet drawingcouplet drawing
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  • ● Front of synthorax with one or two pale stripes over virtually the entire length on each side, or pale patches with or without a long pale stripe
    ● Abdominal terga 3-8 either lacking basal pale marks, or with both basal and central or distal marks

    ⇒ genus: Austroaeschna and Dromaeschna

7  
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 17 of 37

  • couplet drawing
  • ● Side of synthorax with three long, brown stripes of approximately equal width, one on mesopleural suture, one on line of intersegmental suture and one on metapleural suture, the intervening stripes green

    ⇒ species: Green-Striped Darner (Dromaeschna forcipata)
a ↑
b ↓
  • couplet drawingcouplet drawingcouplet drawing
  • ● Side of synthorax with either unequal, pale stripes or pale patches on a dark background

8  
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 18 of 37

  • couplet drawing
  • ● Top of frons black with pair of pale spots isolated from pale patch at side of anterior frons by broad to tenuous black band
a ↑
b ↓
  • couplet drawing
  • ● Top of frons dark brown to black in centre and along anterior and posterior margins, otherwise pale, broadly continuous with pale lateral patch at side of anterior frons

9  
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 28 of 37

  • couplet drawingcouplet drawing
  • ● Postgenae pale immediately behind eye-margin
    ● One or two distinct, long, antehumeral stripes on each side
a ↑
b ↓
  • couplet drawingcouplet drawing
  • ● Postgenae immediately behind eye-margin black, with bright yellow or brown mark near lateral notch
    ● Front of synthorax with pale, often ill-defined patches on dull blackish brown background

10  
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 29 of 37

  • couplet drawing
  • ● Mesokatepisternum brown
    ○ Profemur brown to dark brown, darkening distally

    ⇒ species: Whitewater Darner (Austroaeschna inermis)
a ↑
b ↓
  • couplet drawing
  • ● Mesokatepisternum brown with yellow patch
    ○ Profemur brown to black above and at sides, pale below

11  
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 30 of 37

  • couplet drawingcouplet drawing
  • ● Lateral stripe on synthorax constricted and slightly curved at about its middle
    ● Abdominal segments 3-7 brown, darkened around pale spots on supplementary transverse carina
    ○ A warmly coloured dragonfly, with very long abdomen

    ⇒ species: Unicorn Darner (Austroaeschna unicornis) (part)
a ↑
b ↓
  • couplet drawingcouplet drawing
  • ● Lateral stripe on synthorax not constricted, more or less parallel sided
    ● Dark regions of abdominal segments 3-7 of male largely black, paler distally

12 (part)
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 30 of 37

  • couplet drawingcouplet drawing
  • ● Lateral stripe on synthorax constricted and slightly curved at about its middle
    ● Abdominal segments 3-7 brown, darkened around pale spots on supplementary transverse carina
    ○ A warmly coloured dragonfly, with very long abdomen

    ⇒ species: Unicorn Darner (Austroaeschna unicornis) (part)
a ↑
b ↓
  • couplet drawingcouplet drawing
  • ● Lateral stripe on synthorax not constricted, more or less parallel sided
    ● Dark regions of abdominal segments 3-7 of male largely black, paler distally

13  
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 31 of 37

  • couplet drawingcouplet drawingcouplet drawing
  • ● Pale spots on abdominal tergum 8 extensive, about half as long as the tergum
    ● Male inferior appendage short, truncate
a ↑
b ↓
  • couplet drawingcouplet drawingcouplet drawing
  • ● Pale spots on abdominal tergum 8 small, less than a third the length of the tergum
    ● Male inferior appendage long, subtriangular

    ⇒ species: Wallum Darner (Austroaeschna cooloola)

14  
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 32 of 37

  • ○ From eastern Queensland north of 20°S

    ⇒ species: Tropical Unicorn Darner (Austroaeschna speciosa)
a ↑
b ↓
  • ○ From Queensland south of 20°S

15  
  • Telephlebiidae: Key couplet 33 of 37

  • couplet drawing
  • ● Lower pale mesepimeral mark a substantial patch

    ⇒ species: Unicorn Darner (Austroaeschna unicornis) (part)
a ↑
b ↓
  • couplet drawing
  • ● Lower pale mesepimeral patch a fine line

    ⇒ species: Inland Darner (Austroaeschna pinheyi)

Australian distribution