Genus Gomphidia Selys, 1854


  • scientific: Africogomphidia Carle, 1986 [??]

Type species: Gomphidia t-nigrum Selys, 1854


The genus occurs in tropical Africa and Asia, although the two groups are not closely related and the African species may better be separated as Africogomphidia. The three similar African species can be distinguished by their appendages. Perching along open rivers and larger streams in savanna to forest, the fairly large (hindwing 31-39) males appear like miniature Ictinogomphus with their long yellow-ringed abdomen, which is clubbed but lacks foliations. While the western African G. gamblesi is always dark, the two species in eastern and central Africa occur in dark and pale varieties, which have been considered separate species. The pale forms (treated previously as G. quarrei and G. madi) have separate ranges mostly to the south and north of the Congo Basin respectively, while the dark forms (G. balii and G. bredoi) occur together in the central basin, the first occupying streams and small rivers, the second larger rivers. The dark form typically has a black labrum enclosing two pale spots, broadly black clypeus, black stripes on thorax sides broader than the five yellowish ones, small or no basal yellow markings on abdominal segments 4-6 and 8-9, and entirely dark cerci. Typical pale forms have a thinly black-bordered yellow labrum, yellow clypeus with two central black spots, yellow dominating on thorax, clear basal rings on abdominal segments 2-8, and yellow dorsum of cerci contrasting with darker underside. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]


Male of genus is similar to Diastatomma by (a) dorsal border of metepisternum, close to Hw base, with robust spine; (b) triangles of 3-4 cells; (c) anal triangle of 5 cells, rarely 4 to 7; (d) S8 without foliations. However, differs by (1) cells below Pt about as wide as underlying cells; (2) S1 ventrally without bilobed process; (3) cerci without inner branch. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]

Gomphidia gamblesi Gauthier, 1987. Male © Nicolas Meziere

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.


  • Dijkstra, K.-D.B. (in prep). A review of Afrotropical lindeniine Gomphidae (Odonata). Zoologische Mededelingen. [PDF file]
  • Dijkstra, K.-D.B, and Clausnitzer, V. (2014). The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Eastern Africa: handbook for all Odonata from Sudan to Zimbabwe. Studies in Afrotropical Zoology, 298, 1-264.
  • Balinsky, B.I. (1961). Observations on the dragonfly fauna of the coastal region of Zululand, with descriptions of three new species (Odonata). Journal Entomological Society Southern Africa, 24, 72-91. [PDF file]
  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1961). Dragonflies (Odonata) of Central Africa. Occasional Papers Rhodes-Livingstone Museum, 1-97. [PDF file]
  • Fraser, F.C. (1949). Gomphidae from the Belgian Congo (order Odonata). Revue Zoologie Botanique Africaines, 42, 101-138. [PDF file]

Citation: Dijkstra, K.-D.B (editor). African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online. [2024-07-25].