Organisms Diversity & Evolution

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 301–306 | Cite as

Africa’s smallest damselfly—a new Agriocnemis from Namibia (Odonata: Coenagrionidae)

  • Jens KippingEmail author
  • Andreas Martens
  • Frank Suhling
Original Article


Agriocnemis bumhilli sp. n., a new damselfly from the Kwando River in northeastern Namibia is described. The new species is similar to Agriocnemis angolensis but characterized by unique male appendages, swollen abdominal segments 9 and 10, the complete absence of antehumeral stripes, and smaller size. The species is illustrated and a photograph is provided. For comparison, an illustrated key to the other members of Agriocnemis within south-central Africa is provided.


Damselfly Agriocnemis taxonomy Body size Africa Kwando River 


Measurements and morphology








Antenodal cross-vein(s)


Postnodal cross-vein(s)


First–tenth abdominal segment

Natural History Museums


National Museum of Namibia Windhoek


Netherlands Centre for Biodiversity Naturalis Leiden

The term cerci is used for male superior anal appendages the term paraproct for the male inferior anal appendages. The gender symbols (♂ for male, ♀ for female) are used when appropriate.



The authors are very grateful to Ole Müller and K.-D.B. Dijkstra for producing the drawings. H. Fliedner gave some advice on latin grammar for scientific names.


  1. d’Andrea, M., & Carfi, S. (1997). Nuove raccolte di odonati del Camerun con note su Agriocnemis maclachlani Sélys, 1877 e descrizione di Agriocnemis dissimilis sp. nov. e Trithemis osvaldae sp. nov. Atti della Società Italiana di Scienze Naturali e del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale de Milano, 136, 157–190.Google Scholar
  2. Dijkstra, K.-D. B. (2007a). The name-bearing types of Odonata held in the Natural Museum of Zimbabwe, with systematic notes on Afrotropical taxa. Part 2: Zygoptera and description of new species. International Journal of Odonatology, 10, 137–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Dijkstra, K.-D.B. (2007b). Demise and rise: the biogeography and taxonomy of the Odonata of tropical Africa. In: K.-D.B. Dijkstra (ed.), Demise and rise: the biogeography and taxonomy of the Odonata of tropical Africa. PhD Thesis, Leiden University. 143–187.Google Scholar
  4. Dijkstra, K.-D.B., Boudot, J.-P., Clausnitzer, V., Kipping, J., Kisakye, J.J., Ogbogu, S.S., Samraoui, B., Samways, M.J., Schütte, K., Simaika, J.P., Suhling, F. & Tchibozo, S.L. (2011) Dragonflies and Damselflies of Africa (Odonata): history, diversity, distribution, and conservation. In: Darwall, W.R.T., Smith, K.G., Allen, D.J., Holland, R.A., Harrison, I.J. & Brooks, E.G.E. (eds.) The diversity of life in African freshwaters: under water, under threat. An analysis of the status and distribution of freshwater species throughout mainland Africa. Cambridge, UK and Gland, Switzerland: IUCN. xiii+347pp+4pp cover.Google Scholar
  5. Dumont, H. J. (1974). Agriocnemis sania Nielsen, 1959 (Odonata: Zygoptera), with a redescription of the species and distributional and ecological notes. Israel Journal of Zoology, 23, 125–134.Google Scholar
  6. Kipping, J. (2010). The dragonflies and damselflies of Botswana – an annotated checklist with notes on distribution, phenology, habitats and Red List status of the species (Insecta: Odonata). Mauritiana (Altenburg), 21, 126–204.Google Scholar
  7. Martens, A., Jödicke, R., & Suhling, F. (2003). Annotated checklist of the Odonata of Namibia. Cimbebasia, 18, 139–162.Google Scholar
  8. Pinhey, E. C. G. (1974). A revision of the African Agriocnemis Selys and Mortonagrion Fraser (Odonata: Coenagrionidae). Occasional Papers of the National Museums and Monuments of Rhodesia, Series B, 5, 171–278.Google Scholar
  9. Pinhey, E. C. G. (1984). A check-list of the Odonata of Zimbabwe and Zambia. Smithersia, 3, 1–64Google Scholar
  10. Schorr, M., & Paulson, D. (2012). World Odonata List. – downloaded 30 v 2012 from
  11. Suhling, F., & Martens, A. (2007). A field guide to the dragonflies of Namibia. Windhoek: Gamsberg McMillan.Google Scholar
  12. Suhling, F., Kipping, J., Simaika, J.P. & Samways, M.J. (2009). Status and distribution of the Odonata in southern Africa. In: Darwall, W.R.T., Smith, K.G., Tweddle, D. & Skelton, P. (eds.) The status and distribution of freshwater biodiversity in southern Africa. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN and Grahamstown, South Africa: SAIAB. viii+120pp.Google Scholar
  13. USGS EROS. United States Geological Survey's Center for Earth Observation and Science (USGS EROS): HYDRO1k Elevation Derivative Database for Africa. Available at:

Copyright information

© Gesellschaft für Biologische Systematik 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Naturkundemuseum Mauritianum AltenburgAltenburgGermany
  2. 2.Pädagogische Hochschule KarlsruheKarlsruheGermany
  3. 3.Institut für GeoökologieTechnische Universität BraunschweigBraunschweigGermany

Personalised recommendations