Tropical rockmaster Diphlebia euphoeoides, copyright Wildiaries.

Belongs within: Euodonata.
Contains: Calopterygoidea, Lestoidea, Isostictidae, Coenagrionidae.

The Zygoptera, damselflies, are a group of generally more delicate odonates with similar, often petiolate fore- and hind wings. Damselflies also have broad heads with widely separated eyes, a strongly oblique thorax allowing the wings to be closed towards the rear of the body, and nymphs with three terminal gills (Grimaldi & Engel 2005). The basal division within the damselflies is between the clades Caloptera and Euzygoptera. The forewings possess a number of antenodal crossveins in the costal space in members of the Caloptera but the number of antenodal veins is reduced (usually to two) in Euzygoptera (Theischinger & Hawking 2006). The Caloptera are supported as a clade by basal recession of the midfork and an obsolete pterostigmal brace vein. The Eucaloptera, including most Caloptera except the Oligocene–Miocene European family Sieblosiidae, are also supported by their rectangular discoidal cell. Members of the clade Amphipterygida lack secondary antenodal crossveins between ScP and RA distal of the second primary antenodal Ax2 and also lack crossveins in at least the basal half of the antesubnodal space (Petrulevičius & Nel 2004).

Within the Euzygoptera, the Coenagrionoidea are characterised by an acute discoidal cell and short, braced pterostigma with wrinkled micro-sculpturing (Bechly 2012). Hemiphlebia mirabilis is a tiny, metallic green damselfly found in south-eastern Australia that differs from other damselflies in having an open discoidal cell (lacking an arculus) and a CuP vein that is almost straight in the first cell past the discoidal cell (Theischinger & Hawking 2006).

Characters (from Petrulevičius & Nel 2004): Wings with terminal kinks reduced in both CP and nodal furrow; tubular sclerotised canal of ScP along venter of postnodal costal margin obliterated; postnodal crossveins very numerous and dense; discoidal cell quadrangular, not divided into triangle and hypertriangle; vein RP2 distally displaced far from subnodus; CuA without secondary branching into CuAa and CuAb; oblique vein absent.

<==Zygoptera [Calopterygina]
    |  i. s.: Cretachistigma Jarzembowski et al. 1998 PN04
    |           |--C. essweini Bechly 1998 PN04
    |           `--C. greenwoodi Jarzembowski et al. 1998 PN04
    |         Paraphlebia Hagen 1861 PN04
    |         Philogenia Selys 1862 PN04
    |         Archilestes RD77
    |           |--A. californica D72
    |           `--A. grandis RD77
    |--Caloptera PN04
    |    |--Stenolestes RJ93 [Sieblosiidae PN04]
    |    |    |--S. fischeri Nel 1986 RJ93
    |    |    `--S. hispanicus Nel 1991 RJ93
    |    `--Eucaloptera PN04
    |         |--Calopterygoidea PN04
    |         `--Amphipterygida PN04
    |              |--Diphlebiidae PN04
    |              |    |--Philoganga [Philogangidae, Philoganginae] TH06
    |              |    `--Diphlebia [Diphlebiinae] TH06
    |              |         |--D. coerulescens Tillyard 1913 TH06 [=D. euphaeoides coerulescens C70]
    |              |         |--D. euphoeoides Tillyard 1907 TH06
    |              |         |--D. hybridoides Tillyard 1912 TH06
    |              |         |--D. lestoides (Selys 1853) TH06
    |              |         `--D. nymphoides Tillyard 1912 TH06
    |              `--Amphipterygoidea [Amphipterygida] PN04
    |                   |--Protamphipteryx Cockerell 1920 [Amphipterygidae] PN04
    |                   |--Latibasalia Petrulevičius & Nel 2004 [Latibasaliidae] PN04
    |                   |    |--*L. elongata Petrulevičius & Nel 2004 PN04
    |                   |    `--L. quispeae Petrulevičius & Nel 2004 PN04
    |                   `--Thaumatoneuridae [Thaumatoneuroidea] PN04
    |                        |--Thaumatoneurinae PN04
    |                        |    |--Thaumatoneura McLachlan 1897 PN04
    |                        |    `--Euarchistigma Carle & Wighton 1990 PN04
    |                        |         `--E. atrophium Carle & Wighton 1990 RJ93
    |                        `--Dysagrioninae PN04
    |                             |--Congqingia Zhang 1992 [Congqingiidae] PN04
    |                             |--Dysagrion Scudder 1878 PN04
    |                             |--Phenacolestes Cockerell 1908 PN04
    |                             `--Petrolestes Cockerell 1927 PN04
    |                                  `--P. hendersoni RJ93
    `--Euzygoptera GE05
         |--+--Lestoidea GE05
         |  `--Hemiphlebia [Hemiphlebiidae, Hemiphlebioidea] GE05
         |       `--H. mirabilis Selys 1869 TH06
         `--+--Lestoidea TH06 [Lestoideidae, Lestoideoidea GE05]
            |    |--L. barbarae Watson 1967 TH06
            |    |--L. brevicauda Theischinger 1996 TH06
            |    |--L. conjuncta Tillyard 1913 TH06
            |    `--L. lewisiana Theischinger 1996 TH06
            `--Coenagrionoidea [Coenagrionomorpha] GE05
                 |--Isostictidae WO91
                 |--Platystictidae WO91
                 |--Coenagrionidae TH06
                 |--Megaloprepus GE05 [Pseudostigmatidae WO91]
                 |    `--M. coerulatus RD77
                 |--Platycnemididae [Platycnemidae] FB03
                 |    |--Platycnemis E12
                 |    |    |--P. dealbata P74
                 |    |    |--P. pennipes P74
                 |    |    `--P. subdilatata de Selys 1847 E12
                 |    `--Coeliccia FB03
                 |         |--C. cyanomelas Ris 1912 FB03
                 |         |--C. flavicauda I92
                 |         |    |--C. f. flavicauda I92
                 |         |    `--C. f. masakii Asahina 1951 I92
                 |         `--C. ryukyuensis Asahina 1951 I92
                 |              |--C. r. ryukyuensis I92
                 |              `--C. r. amamii Asahina 1962 I92
                 `--Protoneuridae [Protoneurinae] RP02
                      |--Protonevra SL89
                      |--Notoneura O70
                      |--Eoprotoneura hyperstigma Carle & Wighton 1990 RJ93
                      `--Nososticta TH06
                           |--N. baroalba Watson & Theischinger 1984 TH06
                           |--N. coelestina (Tillyard 1906) TH06
                           |--N. fraterna (Lieftinck 1933) TH06
                           |--N. kalumburu Watson & Theischinger 1984 TH06
                           |--N. koolpinyah Watson & Theischinger 1984 TH06
                           |--N. koongarra Watson & Theischinger 1984 TH06
                           |--N. liveringa Watson & Theischinger 1984 TH06
                           |--N. mouldsi Theischinger 2000 TH06
                           |--N. pilbara Watson 1969 TH06
                           |--N. solida (Hagen 1860) TH06
                           |--N. solitaria (Tillyard 1906) TH06
                           `--N. taracumbi Watson & Theischinger 1984 TH06

*Type species of generic name indicated


[C70] CSIRO. 1970. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers. Melbourne University Press.

[D72] Davies, T. W. 1972. Oviposition of the California damsel fly, Archilestes californica MacLachlan. Pan-Pacific Entomologist 48 (1): 68–69.

[E12] Evenhuis, N. L. 2012. Publication and dating of the Exploration Scientifique de l'Algérie: Histoire Naturelle des Animaux Articulés (1846–1849) by Pierre Hippolyte Lucas. Zootaxa 3448: 1–61.

[FB03] Fleck, G., G. Bechly, X. Martínez-Delclòs, E. Jarzembowski, R. Coram & A. Nel. 2003. Phylogeny and classification of the Stenophlebioptera (Odonata: Epiproctophora). Annales de la Societe Entomologique de France 39 (1): 55–93.

[GE05] Grimaldi, D., & M. S. Engel. 2005. Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press: New York.

[I92] Iwahashi, J. (ed.) 1992. Reddo Deeta Animaruzu: a pictorial of Japanese fauna facing extinction. JICC: Tokyo.

[O70] O’Farrell, A. F. 1970. Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers pp. 241–261. Melbourne University Press.

[P74] Paulson, D. R. 1974. Reproductive isolation in damselflies. Systematic Zoology 23 (1): 40–49.

[PN04] Petrulevičius, J. F., & A. Nel. 2004. A new damselfly family from the Upper Palaeocene of Argentina. Palaeontology 47: 109–116.

[RP02] Rasnitsyn, A. P., & L. N. Pritykina. 2002. Superorder Libellulidea Laicharting, 1781. Order Odonata Fabricius, 1792. The dragonflies. In: Rasnitsyn, A. P., & D. L. J. Quicke (eds) History of Insects pp. 97–104. Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht.

[RD77] Richards, O. W., & R. G. Davies. 1977. Imms' General Textbook of Entomology 10th ed. vol. 2. Classification and Biology. Chapman and Hall: London.

[RJ93] Ross, A. J., & E. A. Jarzembowski. 1993. Arthropoda (Hexapoda; Insecta). In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 363–426. Chapman & Hall: London.

[SL89] Selys Longchamps, E. de. 1889. Odonates de Sumatra comprenant les espèces recueillies à Pulo Nias par M. le D.r E. Modigliani. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova, Serie 2a, 7: 444–484.

[TH06] Theischinger, G., & J. Hawking. 2006. The Complete Field Guide to Dragonflies of Australia. CSIRO Publishing: Collingwood (Victoria).

[WO91] Watson, J. A. L., & A. F. O’Farrell. 1991. Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 1 pp. 294–310. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

Last updated: 30 May 2022.

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