Family Platycnemididae Yakobson & Bianchi, 1905
stream damsels


  • scientific: Protoneuridae Yakobson & Bianchi, 1905 (in part)


This is a morphologically diverse family with 40 genera and over 400 species occurring in the Old World, especially in tropical Asia, New Guinea, and the Afrotropics, where over a sixth of the species are concentrated. Genera with a much shortened anal vein (Elattoneura and part of what is now Allocnemis) have been placed in a pantropical family Protoneuridae. However, genetic research revealed that all Old World genera are not related to the true protoneurids of the New World, but fall within Platycnemididae. The enigmatic Oreocnemis was described in this family but belongs in Coenagrionidae. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]


No diagnosis of this diverse family is presently available and the genera are best distinguished by considering both it and the Coenagrionidae, together forming the superfamily Coenagrionoidea.

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.


  • 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. [2024-07-25].