Family Cordulegastridae Tillyard, 1917


For an introduction to this family, please refer to: Dijkstra, K.-D.B. & R. Lewington, 2006. Field guide to the Dragonflies of Britain and Europe. British Wildlife Publishing. 1-320.


Easily recognised by the very large size (7-10 cm), the black-and-yellow body pattern and the eyes meeting above only narrowly. Males possess an anal triangle in the Hw and auricles on the sides of S2. Females have a unique vulvar scale that serves as an ovipositor, projecting well beyond the tip of the abdomen. It is used to deposit the eggs in the bottom substrate of springs and small brooks, where goldenrings are often the only species of dragonfly present. Aeshnids are often large and have similar appearance and venation, but the eyes are broadly confluent. Some gomphids also have a black-and-yellow coloration, but are smaller and the eyes are widely separated above. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Lewington 2006]

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. [2024-07-15].