Genus Crenigomphus Selys, 1892

Type species: Crenigomphus denticulatus Selys, 1892


Genus is restricted to Africa with six species, which are closely related to Paragomphus. They are medium-sized (hindwing 24-31 mm) pale species of open habitats. The genus falls into two groups, each of three species. Of the group with foliations on abdominal segments 8-9, C. hartmanni occurs at streams and small rivers in savanna and woodland, where males are often seen perching on rocks, but the ecology of the Ethiopian endemics C. abyssinicus and C. denticulatus is unknown. The three species without foliations appear to favour larger rivers and at least C. renei also breeds in large lakes: records, especially of males, are comparatively scarce of C. cornutus, although both sexes of C. kavangoensis can be numerous locally. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]


Male of genus is similar to Paragomphus by (a) anal loop absent; (b) anal triangle of 4 cells, sometimes 3-6; (c) hind femur shorter than breadth of head; (d) cerci without inner branch, but sometimes with inner tooth; (e) epiproct shorter than cerci; (f) branches of epiproct touch or lie close to each other, often bear dorsal process between base and apex. However, differs by (1) Pt black, contrasting with pale costa anterior to it; (2) tips of cerci parallel or strongly converging rather than diverging, often with ventral black ridge with multiple coarse teeth; (3) epiproct more than half as long as cerci, except in C. kavangoensis. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]

Crenigomphus hartmanni (Förster, 1898). Male © Hans-Joachim Clausnitzer

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.


  • Fraser, F.C. (1960). The Crenigomphines of tropical Africa. Revue de Zoologie et de Botanique Africaines, 61, 205-214. [PDF file]
  • Dijkstra, K.-D.B, and Clausnitzer, V. (2014). The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Eastern Africa: handbook for all Odonata from Sudan to Zimbabwe. Studies in Afrotropical Zoology, 298, 1-264.
  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1964). Dragonflies (Odonata) of the Angola-Congo borders of Rhodesia. Publicacoes culturais Companhia Diamantes Angola, 63, 95-130. [PDF file]
  • Ris, F. (1921). The Odonata or Dragonflies of South Africa. Annals South African Museum, XVIII, 245-452. [PDF file]
  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1961). Dragonflies (Odonata) of Central Africa. Occasional Papers Rhodes-Livingstone Museum, 14, 1-97. [PDF file]
  • Fraser, F.C. (1949). Gomphidae from the Belgian Congo (order Odonata). Revue Zoologie Botanique Africaines, 42, 101-138. [PDF file]
  • Martin, R. (1912). Notes sur les Gomphines d'Afrique. Annales Societe Entomologique France, 80, 480-486. [PDF file]
  • Schouteden, H. (1934). Annales Musee Congo belge Zoologie 3 Section 2, 3, 1-84. [PDF file]

Citation: Dijkstra, K.-D.B (editor). African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online. [2017-03-24].