Family Zygoptera incertae sedis


  • scientific: Megapodagrionidae Calvert, 1913 (in part)


Over 40 genera and almost 300 species have previously been assigned to the Megapodagrionidae, with concentrations in Australasia, tropical America and Madagascar. This assemblage is very heterogeneous and consists of multiple distantly related families. Aside from 35 species in three genera from Madagascar and a monotypic genus in the Seychelles, the group is very poorly represented in the Afrotropics, with two species in the Lower Guinea of western Africa now placed in Argiolestidae and one in Tanzania of uncertain affinities. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]


Distinctive damselfly confined to Tanzania with combination of (a) 2 Ax; (b) R4 and IR3 originate (approximately) at subnode; (c) proximal supplementary cross-vein between median vein and R4 present (recognisable by lacking adjoining cross-vein anterior of R4); (d) arculus halfway between base and node, or more distal; quadrilateral without cross-veins; (e) median vein straighter, at most zigzags well distal to subnode; (f) most cross-veins aligned with Px (only less so near wing border), venation ordered like squared mesh; (g) anal vein usually originates at or distal to arculus. Shares this character set only with the family Synlestidae in southern Africa, but differs by (1) thorax marked with black, rather than metallic green; (2) R4 originates 1 cell proximal to subnode, IR3 originates at subnode, thus only 1 cell distal to R4; (3) cubital vein rather straight (rather than arched forward) at distal corner of quadrilateral. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]

Amanipodagrion gilliesi Pinhey, 1962. Male © Viola Clausnitzer

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].