Sometimes life gives you the best surprises. I walked into the kitchen this afternoon and noticed on our windowsill possibly the biggest insect I’ve ever seen. It was still alive but reluctant to move.
What a stunner! I grabbed a few photos but didn’t think to measure it until I’d already taken it outside.
I actually had no idea what it was. It looked like a dragonfly, but it was so huge, and what was it doing in our kitchen?
There’s a measure along the edge of my insect book. Deb held the book up while I tried to grab a shot with my iPhone 4S. The Kapokapowai seems to be around 10 cm long, with a wingspan of around 13 cm.
My go-to book is Andrew Crowe’s Which New Zealand insect?. According to page 77 about the native Kapokapowai Bush Giant Dragonfly, Uropetala carovei:
The male has broad claspers at the back. Seen early summer to autumn near the edges of native forest. With a wingspan often reaching 13 cm and a body length 79–86mm, this is New Zealand’s largest dragonfly. Clattering flight. Large eyes, far apart. It can eat 20 huse flies in one hour and has been seen catching insects as large as cicadas. Yet the adults themselves are often eaten by rats, wild cats, kingfishers and even wasps. The Māori name (in its various forms: kākapowai, kapowai) has been used for all large dragonflies and means ‘water snatcher’.
What a beauty! I hope more will visit in future.
All photos were with my iPhone 4S. I love the camera on the 4S!