Will they visit?: Blue Ringtails visit home gardens with ponds
Natural Distribution: Common and widespread throughout the South West and Perth region
Austrolestes annulosus – Andrew Dilley (CC BY-NC 4.0). Source: Atlas of Living Australia
Austrolestes annulosus – keenasfish (CC BY-NC 4.0). Source: Atlas of Living Australia
Austrolestes annulosus – Ray Turnbull (CC BY-NC 4.0). Source: Atlas of Living Australia
Habitat at a Glance
See Habitat Guide for more detail
Shelter: Perched on rushes, shrubs, logs, and rocks
Diet: Flying insects and aquatic invertebrates
Water: Large frog ponds
ReWild Benefit: Pest control, environmental indicator
Habitat Guide - Shelter
Blue Ringtails perch on rushes, sedges, shrubs, and trees planted around frog ponds. If you don’t have room for a pond, a dampland is a great alternative for attracting damselflies to the garden. Their young (called nymphs) require submerged plants within a pond to provide protection from potential predators.
Habitat Guide - Food and Water
Providing natural sources of food
Blue Ringtails capture their prey on the wing. Tall rushes, shrubs, and trees provide habitat for Blue Ringtails to survey the garden for potential prey. Flowering plants within the garden (wattles, kennedia, gravillea, or hardenbergia) will attract other flying insects and provide Blue Ringtails additional foraging habitat. Nymphs feed on aquatic insects.
Providing sources of water
Blue Ringtails breed in garden ponds with plenty of vegetation. The pond water should flow slowly to attract breeding damselflies. Larger ponds have a greater chance of supporting damselflies. Damselflies lay their eggs in ponds and the aquatic nymphs forage for food under the water. Damselflies emerge from the water and leave an exuvia (shed skin) on rushes, logs, and rocks.
Soft flowing fountains or waterfalls oxygenate ponds and help create suitable habitat for breeding damselflies. Powerful water fountains can scare away some damselflies and they are unlikely to use the pond to lay their eggs.
Damselflies are efficient predators and excellent pests controllers (mosquitos and midges) around the home. If you see this charismatic dragonfly around your garden or pond, you can record your sighting on Atlas of Living Australia!