Genus Chalcostephia Kirby, 1889


  • scientific: Corduliops Kirby, 1889 [metallica = flavifrons]

Type species: Chalcostephia flavifrons Kirby, 1889


The genus’s only species is found almost anywhere in tropical Africa and Madagascar with some cover and standing water. Although breeding mainly in open marsh, adults are often found sheltering inside forest, sometimes in great numbers. While mature males are totally pale blue-grey pruinose, females and fresh males are dark with bold yellowish markings. However, this fairly small species (hindwing 24-29 mm) is always immediately identified by the flattened green metallic frons contrasting with a bright yellow face. The dark-bordered, pale-centred pterostigma is also a good field-mark. The wing tips often become dark. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]


Male of genus may recall Diplacodes, Eleuthemis and other small libelluids by (a) Fw supratriangles without cross-veins; (b) Fw triangle of 1 cell, subtriangle of 1-3 cells; (c) Fw discoidal field of 1-2 cell-rows at base, sometimes 3; (d) 6½-10½ Ax in Fw. However, unmistakable by (1) face bright yellow with metallic green dorsum of frons; (2) Hw arculus well proximal to proximal border of triangle; (3) S1 with long ventral process. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]

Chalcostephia flavifrons Kirby, 1889. Male © Dirk Motshagen

Chalcostephia flavifrons Kirby, 1889. Female © Dirk Motshagen

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.


  • Ris, F. (1921). The Odonata or Dragonflies of South Africa. Annals South African Museum, XVIII, 245-452. [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.
  • Pinhey, E. C. G. (1961) Dragonflies (Odonata) of Central Africa. Occasional Papers Rhodes-Livingstone Museum 14: 1-97 [PDF file]
  • Schouteden, H. (1934). Annales Musee Congo belge Zoologie 3 Section 2, 3, 1-84. [PDF file]

Citation: Dijkstra, K.-D.B (editor). African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online. [2024-07-20].