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Diphlebia coerulescens, male

Diphlebia coerulescens , male

Trunk : Arthropod (arthropoda)
Class : Insects (Insecta)
Order : Dragonflies (Odonata)
Subordination : Dragonfly (Zygoptera)
Superfamily : Calopterygoidea
Family : Lestoideidae
Scientific name
Munz , 1919

The Lestoideidae are a family of damselflies is distributed almost exclusively in Australia. It includes the two genera Lestoidea and Diphlebia with a total of nine species.


The family comprises two genres that look completely different at first glance. Lestoidea are medium-sized to large dragonflies that are black to dark brown in color, with orange, green or blue drawing elements . The pterostigma of the wings is strikingly long. Diphlebia species are remarkably large and robustly built. The males are bright blue or blue-green and black and have black or white colored stripes or marks on the otherwise hyaline wings. It is not possible to reliably differentiate the family from related groups such as the Amphipterygidae on the basis of body shape or wing veins. Lestoideidae usually sit with half-open, unfolded wings.

More similar and, in addition to molecular characteristics, decisive for the definition of the family are the characteristics of the larvae. In these, the body and legs are markedly flattened, the occiput of the head concave, the seven-membered antennae longer than the head. At the rear end, all three tail appendages ( epiproct and paraproct ) are not, as is usually the case, leaf-like, but balloon-like and soft, without scale-shaped setae.


Diphlebia lestoides

All species live in Australia, with one exception, which is also found in New Guinea. The species of the genus Lestoidea occur only on streams in the tropical rainforest in northeast Queensland . The Diphlebia species are limited to the regions near the east coast of Australia. Their larvae are also restricted to flowing waters (streams and rivers), some also colonize temporarily drying (intermittent) waters, where the larvae survive in residual ponds. Diphlebia euphoeoides is the only species that occurs outside of Australia, in New Guinea .

Taxonomy and systematics

The breakdown of the genera traditionally grouped into the Amphipterygidae sensu lato on the basis of morphological characteristics turned out to be a difficult problem, on which the classical authors could not reach an agreement. The group was always considered a species-poor relic group with pantropical distribution. In a morphological treatment based on larval characteristics, Novelo-Gutierrez placed the genera Lestoidea , Diphlebia and the Asian Philoganga in a common family Diphlebiidae in 1995. Van Tol showed shortly thereafter that the family, for nomenclature reasons, must bear the name Lestoideidae. The position of the genus Philoganga , which was then run in the family for some time, was later assessed as problematic and is still unclear today, but it is usually no longer included in the family Lestoideidae. Since the association of the genera Lestoidea and Diphlebia , which is not unambiguous on the basis of morphological characteristics, has been confirmed in molecular studies, this classification has prevailed. Since the genera are sister groups , they can, depending on the taxonomic view, be viewed as separate subfamilies or (based on a slightly different taxonomic view) even continue to be viewed as separate families. According to this view, the Lestoideidae would be monotypical, the genus Diphlebia would be placed in a separate family Diphlebiidae. This view is mainly represented by Gunther Theischinger.

The name of the family is derived from Lestoidea Tillyard, 1913. This refers to the (u. A. European) genus Leste from the family of bins Virgin (Lestidae). Lestoidea roughly means: similar to Lestes .


Lestoidea (In Australia: "Bluebirds")

Diphlebia (in Australia: "Rockmasters")

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Günther Theischinger, John Hawking: The Complete Field Guide to Dragonflies of Australia. Csiro Publishing, 2006, ISBN 978-0-643-09073-6 .
  2. ^ A b c R. Novelo-Gutierrez (1995): The larva of Amphipteryx and a reclassification of Amphipterygidae sensu lato based upon the larvae (Zygoptera). Odonatologica 24 (1): 73-87.
  3. Günther Theischinger: Identification Guide to the Australian Odonata. Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water New South Wales, 2009, ISBN 978-1-74232-475-3
  4. ^ Jill Silsby: Dragonflies of the World. Csiro Publishing, 2001, ISBN 978-0-643-10249-1 (Lestoideidae on pages 93-96).
  5. Günther Theischinger: The species of Lestoideinae MÜNZ (Insecta: Odonata: Zygoptera: Lestoideidae). In: Linz biological contributions. Volume 28, Issue 1, Linz 1996, pp. 315–324 ( PDF on ZOBODAT ).
  6. ^ J. van Tol (1995): Family-group names based on Amphipteryx, Diphlebia, Philoganga, Lestoidea, Rimanella and Pentaphlebia (Zygoptera). Odonatologica, 24: 245-248.
  7. Vincent J. Kalkman, Chee Yen Choong, Albert G. Orr, Kai Schütte (2010): Remarks on the taxonomy of Megapodagrionidae with emphasis on the larval gills (Odonata). International Journal of Odonatology 13 (1): 119-135.
  8. ^ Frank Louis Carle, Karl M. Kjer, Michael L. May (2008): Evolution of Odonata, with special reference to Coenagrionoidea (Zygoptera). Arthropods Systematic and Phylogeny 66 (1): 37-44.
  9. K.-DB Dijkstra, VJ Kalkman, RA Dow, FR Stokvis, J. van Tol (2014): Redefining the damselfly families: a comprehensive molecular phylogeny of Zygoptera (Odonata). Systematic Entomology 39: 68-96. doi: 10.1111 / syen.12035 .
  10. ^ Matti Hämäläinen: Calopterygoidea of ​​the World. A synonymic list of extant extant damselfly species of the superfamily Calopterygoidea sensu lato. Privately published by the author. Espoo, Finland 2016.
  11. Ian Endersby, Heinrich Fliedner: The naming of Australia's dragonflies. Busybird Publishing, Eltham 2015, ISBN 978-1-925260-62-5 .

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