Genus Malgassophlebia Fraser, 1956

Type species: Calophlebia mayanga Ris, 1909


Endemic to the Afrotropics, with two species on Madagascar and at least three on the mainland from western Africa to central Uganda and northern Zambia. They inhabit rainforest streams but are difficult to observe: most adults encountered are just emerging and larvae are much easier to find. Mature adults may dash low over water or close to banks, females attaching their eggs to plant material above the water in flight; the larvae drop into the water after hatching. All species are fairly small (hindwing 23-29 mm) black dragonflies with three broad yellow bands on each thorax side and seven or eight yellow rings on the abdomen, which are easily separated by the male appendages. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]


Genus not particularly close to another Libellulidae genera, but similar to some by (a) distal Ax in Fw complete, extends across subcosta like proximal Ax; (b) 1 Cux in Hw; (c) 1-3 rows in radial planate (2 rows if Hw has 2 Cux and S7 marking larger); (d) hindlobe large, roundly rectangular or bilobed and constricted at base (dorsal view), flat or even raised (lateral view), its border with dense fringe of long hairs that are often even longer than lobe itself; (e) if S7 marked, then this mark not or scarcely more prominent than that on S6. However, Malgassophlebia is set apart from the rest by (1) Fw discoidal field at least partly of 1 (rather than 2-5) cell-row, usually at base; (2) Fw triangle and subtriangle of 1 cell; (4) hamule with long hook but no lobe; (3) anal loop short, of 4-10 cells. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014; this diagnosis not yet verified by author]

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.


  • Legrand, J. (1986). Malgassophlebia westfalli spec. nov., nouveau Tetratheminae afrotropical des forêts du Gabon Oriental: imagos, larves, notes biologiques et discussion sur le genre (Anisoptera: Libellulidae). Odonatologica, 15, 97-105. [PDF file]
  • Legrand, J. (2001). Malgassophlebia mayanga (Ris, 1909) et un nouvelle espèce du genre à Madagascar (Odonata, Anisoptera, Libellulidae). Revue Française d’Entomologie, 23, 225-236. [PDF file]
  • Dijkstra, K.-D.B. (2007). The name-bearing types of Odonata held in the Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe, with systematic notes on Afrotropical taxa. Part 1: introduction and Anisoptera. International Journal of Odonatology, 10, 137-170. [PDF file]

Citation: Dijkstra, K.-D.B (editor). African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online. [2024-07-21].