• Kenneth J. Tennessen


Macromiidae is a relatively small family with only two genera and nine species occurring in North America. The nymphs are large sprawling dragonflies with very long legs; they are predominantly river inhabitants although a few species also occur in lakes and ponds. The North American species have a triangular, upturned projection on the frontal shelf. Two other diagnostic traits for the family are found on the thoracic venter: on the mesinfraepimeron there is a triangular, anteriorly-directed lobe on each side of the postmentum, and on the poststernite there is a medial, transverse, setose tubercle. The two genera in North America, Didymops and Macromia, are distinguished mainly by the width of the head relative to maximum abdominal width, length of tarsal claws, and the extent that the middorsal ridge on abdominal segment 10 projects apically. Macromiids appear to be long-lived as nymphs, probably requiring at least two or three years to complete development.


  1. Butler SG (2002) The larva of Macromia euterpe Laidlaw, 1915 (Anisoptera: Macromiidae). Odonatologica 31(4):383–388Google Scholar
  2. Cannings RA, Stuart KM (1977) The dragonflies of British Columbia, British Columbia Provincial Museum Handbook No. 35, Victoria. 254 ppGoogle Scholar
  3. Donnelly TW, Tennessen KJ (1994) Macromia illinoiensis and georgina: a study of their variation and apparent subspecific relationship (Odonata: Corduliidae). Bull Am Odonatol 2:27–61Google Scholar
  4. Garrison RW, von Ellenrieder N, Louton JA (2006) Dragonfly genera of the New World. An illustrated and annotated key to the Anisoptera. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 368 ppGoogle Scholar
  5. Letsch H, Gottsberger B, Ware JL (2016) Not going with the flow: a comprehensive time-calibrated phylogeny of dragonflies (Anisoptera: Odonata: Insecta) provides evidence for the role of lentic habitats on diversification. Mol Ecol 25:1340–1353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Needham JG, Westfall MJ Jr (1955) A manual of the dragonflies of North America (Anisoptera). University of California Press, Berkeley. 615 ppGoogle Scholar
  7. Needham JG, Westfall MJ Jr, May ML (2014) Dragonflies of North America: the Odonata (Anisoptera) fauna of Canada, the Continental United States, Northern Mexico and the Greater Antilles, 3rd edn. Scientific Publishers, Gainesville. 657 ppGoogle Scholar
  8. Paulson D (2009) Dragonflies and damselflies of the West. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. 535 ppCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Paulson DR, Jenner CE (1971) Population structure in overwintering larval Odonata in North Carolina in relation to adult flight season. Ecology 52(1):96–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Smock LA (1988) Life histories, abundance and distribution of some macroinvertebrates from a South Carolina, USA coastal plain stream. Hydrobiologia 157:193–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Walker EM, Corbet PS (1975) The Odonata of Canada and Alaska, vol 3. University of Toronto Press, Toronto. 307 ppCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ware J, May M, Kjer M (2007) Phylogeny of the higher Libelluloidea (Anisoptera: Odonata): an exploration of the most speciose superfamily of dragonflies. Mol Phylogenet Evol 45(1):289–310Google Scholar
  13. Watson MC (1956) The utilization of mandibular armature in taxonomic studies of anisopterous nymphs. Trans Am Entomol Soc 81:155–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth J. Tennessen
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Florida State Collection of ArthropodsGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.WautomaUSA

Personalised recommendations