Genus Nubiolestes Fraser, 1945
rainforest malachite

Type species: Eolestes diotima Schmidt, 1943


The single species N. diotima was long considered the only Old World representative of the tropical American family Perilestidae, but is more closely related to Chlorolestes and thus the only synlestid in equatorial Africa. This large (hindwing around 29 mm) damselfly is unique within its range from south-eastern Nigeria to southern Gabon: males hang motionlessly in vegetation near deeply shaded rainforest streams, typically in mountainous areas. The very long abdomen (53-54 mm) has abdominal segments 3-6 distinctly orange and the widened abdominal segments 8-10 brightly white pruinose, but only the latter stands out in the gloom. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]


Other than by its distinctive stature, this genus differs from other African synlestids in its venation with (1) IR3 originating 4 to 6 rather than 1 or 2 cells distal of R4; (2) all fields between IR2, R3, IR3, R4 and MA entirely of a single row of cells, i.e. known splitting up distally into 2 or 3 rows; and (3) pterostigma short, about equal to 2 rather than 3 underlying cells.

Nubiolestes diotima (Schmidt, 1943). Male © Nicolas Meziere

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.


  • Schmidt, E. (1943). Bemerkungen über Lestiden II (Ordnung Odonata). Eine neue Gattung und Art aus Kamerun (Eolestes diotima). Mitteilungen der Deutschen Entomologischen Gesellschaft, Berlin 11, 102-111. [PDF file]
  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1966). Notes on African Odonata, particularly type material. Revue Zoologie Botanique Africaines, 73, 283-308. [PDF file]

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