True Riverjacks, Blue Riverjacks

Family Platycnemididae Yakobson & Bianchi, 1905


  • Endemic to Africa, five species are described, with one of the closely related genus Metacnemis in South Africa.

Southern Africa

General Identification:
  • Genus Mesocnemis
    • Fairly large (hindwing 19-27 mm)
    • Robust and pale brownish with limited black markings when teneral
    • Males become blue-eyed and entirely dark, extensively covered with thick whitish pruinosity, which is thinner on abdominal segments 3-7 only.
  • Genus Metacnemis
    • Male’s brightly blue-and-black  body.
    • Female is equally robust but coloured dramatically differently, appearing almost uniformly orange brown with cream sides of thorax and abdomen
  • Where available only males are shown
  • Images of different genera shown when available
  • A click on the species name will link to the main species description article and image gallery

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  • Genus Mesocnemis
    • The genus is most diverse in the rainforests of western and central Africa
  • Genus Metacnemis 
    • localised in the south eastern area of south Africa
Genus Mesocnemis Goldtails Genus Distribution Map Africa July 20212021Genus Mesocnemis
Genus Metacnemis Goldtails Genus Distribution Map Africa July 20212021Genus Metacnemis,
Political Map AfricaPolitical Map
Topographical Map AfricaTopographical Map