Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Tetracanthagyna plagiata (Waterhouse, 1877)

Species:T. plagiata
Common Names:Giant Hawker


This gigantic dragonfly was first described from Borneo It is the largest dragonfly in Southeast Asia and the female with a wing-span up to 165 mm could perhaps be ranked as the largest true dragonfly in the world, although an Australian species of the family Petaluridae has a longer body. The female is significantly larger and much ore often seen than the male. In males, the hindwing is 67 to 75 mm long and the total body length ranges from 93 to 100 mm.

The head is reddish brown and the thorax is entirely dark reddish or chocolate brown. The side of the thorax has broad, pale lateral bands. The abdomen is also reddish brown with no recognisable markings. It is thick and cylindrical, tapering gradually to the end. The wings are long and broad, and have a dark brown costal streak. Most female individuals also have broad transverse dark brown patches near the wing tips.

Read more about the Odonata order.
Read more about the Aeshnidae family.


Widespread in Sundaland.


Found in Nee Soon Swamp Forest, MacRitchie Reservoir and other sites in Central Catchment Nature Reserve.

Locality Map

General Biology

This species inhabits forest streams. It forages at dawn and dusk and is attracted to light. It oviposits in dead wood by streams throughout the day.


The oldest record dates back to the end of the 19th century or to the first few years of the 20th century. In the 1990s, it was observed in Nee Soon Swamp Forest. Records of adults have been made in the months of January, June, July and August.


Leong, T. M. & S. L. Tay, 2009. Encounters with Tetracanthagyna plagiata (Waterhouse) in Singapore. with an observation of oviposition (Odonata: Annisoptera: Aeshnidae). Nature in Singapore 2: 115-119.

Tang, H. B., L. K. Wang & M. Hämäläinen, 2010. A Photographic Guide to the Dragonflies of Singapore. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, Singapore. 222 pp.

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