Family Pentaphlebiidae Novelo-Gutiérrez, 1995


  • scientific: Amphipterygidae Tillyard, 1917 (in part); Rimanellidae Davies & Tobin, 1984 (in part)


The Lower Guinean genus Pentaphlebia was long considered the only African representative of the relict family Amphipterygidae, which is in fact confined to Central America, and was regarded close to the monotypic Rimanella from northern South America, a similarity based solely on convergence. The genus now thus represents the only odonate family endemic to the Afrotropics, although Amanipodagrion from Tanzania and Protolestes and Tatocnemis from Madagascar may well follow suit. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]


Genus is unique among African damselflies by the combination of its (a) great size, Hw 31-38 mm; (b) rather dark and uniform coloration; (c) long and narrow wings with darkened falcate tips; (d) 2-4 supplementary Ax distal to the 2 primary Ax in all wings, which are restricted to the costal space; (e) dense venation with 37-47 postnodal cross-veins in Fw but no cross-veins in quadrilateral cells; and (f) IR3 originating at level of the quadrilateral cell, much closer to the arculus than to the node. [Adapted from Dijkstra, Kipping & Mézière 2015]

Map citation: Clausnitzer, V., K.-D.B. Dijkstra, R. Koch, J.-P. Boudot, W.R.T. Darwall, J. Kipping, B. Samraoui, M.J. Samways, J.P. Simaika & F. Suhling, 2012. Focus on African Freshwaters: hotspots of dragonfly diversity and conservation concern. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 10: 129-134.

Citation: Dijkstra, K.-D.B (editor). African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online. [2017-02-23].