- "I caught a petaltail dragonfly! He may be big, but I'm bigger!" —Animal Crossing: New Leaf
The petaltail dragonfly (テイオウムカシヤンマ, Teioumukashiyanma?) is a bug found in August through October in the evening. It is called a giant petaltail prior to New Leaf. It is considered a rare bug and sells for 8,000 Bells. It is dark in color and is easily identified by its immense size (being similar in body length to the player's height) and swift flying ability, making it difficult to catch. In New Leaf, it is significantly slower, being only slightly faster than the Darner Dragonfly in terms of speed. It also can fly over cliffs, unlike other bugs. It has the largest picture of all bugs and fish in the encyclopedia. The petaltail dragonfly is based on Petalura ingentissima, and prior to its New Leaf information possibly relating to Meganeura, an extinct prehistoric genus of insects consistent to giant dragonflies.
Cutting down trees increases its abundance, as other common species will not appear without the trees. However, replacing trees is time-consuming.
Donation to the museum
In City Folk
"Hootie hoo! It's like looking at a living ancestor of today's dragonflies! A vile ancestor... It's so big that when I tell people I spotted one, no one wants to believe me. Folks claim I'm being daft. It's understandable, wot? When I look at this thing, I think I might very well BE hallucinating..."
The giant petaltail can be found on the third tier of the bug section of the museum, at the top of the ramp, with the lantern fly, fruit beetle, and scarab beetle, to name a few. During the evening hours, it can be found sitting on the sign in that section of the museum.
In New Leaf
When donated to the museum, a board in the bug exhibit will display information about this bug:
"Dragonflies very similar to petaltail dragonflies have been found in fossils from the Jurassic period. They are considered "living fossils" that haven't changed much since prehistoric times. Their wingspan is over 16 cm, making them the world's largest dragonfly."
- "I caught a giant petaltail! I tamed the beast!" —Animal Crossing: City Folk
With a wingspan of 160mm, the Giant Petaltail dragonfly (Petalura ingentissima) is tied with the Hawaiian Giant Darner (Anax strenuus) for the title of the largest dragonfly in the world. Due to lack of measurements and data, it is impossible to know the truth. Of further interest, the largest odonate (member of the dragonfly family) is somewhat ironically actually a damselfly (an insect normally known as a miniature version of a dragonfly) from Costa Rica named Megaloprepus coreulatus.
Giant Petaltails exist in the northeastern Australian Province known as Queensland.