Aeshnidae: a family of large and colourful dragonflies

Aeshnidae: a family of large and colourful dragonflies - Southern Africa : To collate observations and notes on this impressive family in southern Africa. Adults are easily distinguished from the Gomphidae family as their eyes are together when seen from above (eyes are separated in Gomphidae), and from the Libellulidae, Macr

To collate observations and notes on this impressive family in southern Africa.

Adults are easily distinguished from the Gomphidae family as their eyes are together when seen from above (eyes are separated in Gomphidae), and from the Libellulidae, Macromiidae, Corduliidae, and Synthemistidae families as their discoidal cell (DC) is similarly shaped in the fore- and hind-wings and points towards the tip of the wing (DC very different in fore- and hind-wings and forewing DC points towards the trailing edge of the wing in the families Libellulidae, Macromiidae, Corduliidae, and Synthemistidae) and the two rows of antenodal crossveins (Ax) do not always coincide at the subcostal vein (two rows of Ax do coincide at the subcostal vein in the families Libellulidae, Macromiidae, Corduliidae, and Synthemistidae). *diagram to follow shortly*

Larvae are distinguished from the Gomphidae family as its antenna consists of 7 similarly shaped segments ( 4 segments in Gomphidae, with the 3rd segment enlarged) and a long labium which exceeds the second led (only reaches the second leg in Gomphidae), and from the Libellulidae, Macromiidae, Corduliidae, and Synthemistidae families as its labium is flat and the palpae do not cover the face (labium is spoon-shaped and the palpae cover the face in the families Libellulidae, Macromiidae, Corduliidae, and Synthemistidae).

Within Aeshnidae there are at least 5 genera found in southern Africa, namely: Anaciaeschna, Anax, Gynacantha, Pinheyschna, Zosteraeschna (Afroaeschna is found only as far south as Zambia).

03 Jan 2015
Robert Taylor