Genus Parazyxomma Pinhey, 1961
banded duskdarters

Type species: Zyxomma flavicans Martin, 1908


The medium-sized (hindwing 26-32 mm) P. flavicans is the only species in the genus and found at standing and slow-flowing water in or near forest in much of tropical Africa. With its banded wings, dark body and stout abdomen, it recalls Brachythemis leucosticta, but is larger and sleeker, normally has no cells doubled in the radial planate, always fainter wing-bands and bigger eyes marked with a peculiar dark latticework. Moreover, Parazyxomma behaves like Zyxomma, lurking in vegetation during the day and making fast, long and low patrols close along banks at dusk. With these features, Parazyxomma is intermediate between Brachythemis, Tholymis and Zyxomma. These genera are very closely related, sharing not only their increasing activity towards sunset, but also the habit of laying eggs in flight on plant material close to the water surface. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]


Male of genus is similar to Brachythemis by (a) hindlobe of prothorax small, roughly semicircular and widest at base (dorsal view), apex often pressed downwards (lateral view), its border with short hairs and at most a few longer hairs; (b) Pt in both wings of similar size; (c) subtriangle distinctly closed, of 1-3 cells; (d) anal loop closed before wing border; (e) 7½-9½ Ax in Fw, only rarely 10½; (f) all wings usually with brown postnodal bands with maturity; (g) S4 with transverse ridge of similar strength as that on S3 and lateral carina S4. However, differs by (1) relatively larger size, Hw 26-32 mm; (2) eyes large, touching over distance greater than length of vertex; (3) brown postnodal bands on wings faint, rather than strongly marked; (4) Fw triangle of 2 cells, subtriangle of 3 cells; (5) tip of anal loop (nearly) touches wing border. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]

Parazyxomma flavicans (Martin, 1908). Male © Hans-Joachim Clausnitzer

Parazyxomma flavicans (Martin, 1908). Male © Warwick Tarboton

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. (2003). Fooled by the double: Brachythemis liberiensis is Parazyxomma flavicans, with a note on the Zyxommatini (Odonata: libellulidae). International Journal of Odonatology, 6, 17-21. [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]

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