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Family Libelluloidea incertae
South Africa
  • There is 1 genus (Syncordulia) and 4 species restricted to South Africa. 
  • All four species occur in the Western Cape,
  • One extending just into the south-western Eastern Cape (Syncordulia venator) and one to the Drakensberg, (Syncordulia gracilis) (only historic records)
General information:
  • Adults are very furtive over water, typically inspecting stream pools rapidly and dashing off again, but may perch in low vegetation some distance from the water.
  • Two of four species were only recognized in 2007.(Syncordulia serendipator and Syncordulia legator)
  • Larvae have proven even harder to find and ecological differences between species are unclear.
  • S. legator and S. serendipator have short flight seasons in early and late summer respectively. S. gracilis and S. venator fly longer, with the latter favouring relatively woody streams
  • S. venator favouring relatively woody streams.
  • Despite the similarities, the medium-sized (hindwing 27-33 mm) adults are morphologically very distinct, almost as three different genera, implying long isolation in Africa’s southernmost corner.
  • Placed in the Family Libelluloidea incertae (Latin for "of uncertain placement") a term used for a taxonomic group where its broader relationships are unknown or undefined.
  • Family closest to Aeshnidae by (a) eyes in contact; (b) Hindwing base broader than Forewing base, with different venation, membranule present. However, differs by (1) triangles dissimilar in both wings, in Fw pointing backwards, much closer to arculus in Hw than in Fw; (2) all Ax equally thick, usually aligned with subcostal cross-veins.
  • Only males are shown To view females follow the links to the species main page
  • Click on all images to enlarge.
  • To View females follow the menu links to the main species description article and image gallery.  

Credit to Klaas-Douwe Dijkstra for the descriptions