Genus Platycnemis Burmeister, 1839
true featherlegs

Type species: Agrion lacteum Charpentier, 1825 [= pennipes Pallas, 1771]


Pale, non-metallic damselflies with noticeably wide head. The legs have relatively long and numerous leg bristles, often widened tibiae and much white (especially males), making them feather-like in appearance in both sexes. The quadrilateral cell in all wings is almost rectangular; usually separated from subnode by two cells. Head, legs and venation are unique among North African damselflies. Details of markings are also unequaled. Coenagrionid damselflies with similar coloration have stouter heads and unexpanded, less bristly and darker legs. The anterior border of the quadrilateral cell is distinctly shorter than the posterior one, with most often three cells to subnode. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Lewington 2006]

Map citation: Clausnitzer, V., K.-D.B. Dijkstra, R. Koch, J.-P. Boudot, W.R.T. Darwall, J. Kipping, B. Samraoui, M.J. Samways, J.P. Simaika & F. Suhling, 2012. Focus on African Freshwaters: hotspots of dragonfly diversity and conservation concern. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 10: 129-134.


  • Dijkstra, K.-D.B., and Lewington, R. (2006). Field guide to the Dragonflies of Britain and Europe. British Wildlife Publishing, 1-320.
  • Dijkstra, K.-D.B. (2007). The name-bearing types of Odonata held in the Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe, with systematic notes on Afrotropical taxa. Part 1: introduction and Anisoptera. International Journal of Odonatology, 10, 1-29. [PDF file]
  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1964). Some new Odonata from West Africa. Bulletin Institut francais Afrique, 26, 1144-1153. [PDF file]

Citation: Dijkstra, K.-D.B (editor). African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online. [2024-06-15].