Genus Libyogomphus Fraser, 1926
western horntails

Type species: Libyogomphus tenaculatus Fraser, 1926


About eight tropical African species, most of which are only known from a few records from rainforest streams, were until recently placed in Tragogomphus. However, true Tragogomphus, known from three western African species, are morphologically rather distinct from the remaining species, which are best placed in Libyogomphus. Nonetheless, both that genus’s limits and the species classified within it must be revised. The fairly small L. christinae and L. mamfei (hindwing 23-28 mm) are close to the genus’s type species, the much larger L. tenaculatus (hindwing 33-35 mm). However, two unusual species first described in Onychogomphus are placed here only tentatively and may well require distinct genera: L. bwambae, known only from one flattened male from Semliki NP in western Uganda, and L. emiliae from Gabon. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]


Male of genus is similar to Nepogomphoides by (a) labrum often black with two contrasting pale dots, which are sometimes merged; (b) posterior hamule terminates in single large tooth directed anteriorly; (c) anal triangle of 4 cells [3-6], and anal loop of 1-2 cells present; (d) hind femur shorter than breadth of head; (e) cerci strongly down-curved, with rather blunt apices; (f) epiproct as long as or longer than cerci, and at most with dorsal teeth near base; (g) branches of epiproct touch or lie close to each other, often bear dorsal process between base and apex. However, differs by (1) ranging from N Zambia and W Uganda to W Africa; (2) cerci and epiproct without dorsal teeth. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014; this diagnosis not yet verified by author]

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. (1926). Two new dragonflies (Order Odonata). Transactions Entomological Society London, 74, 355-359. [PDF file]

Citation: Dijkstra, K.-D.B (editor). African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online. [2017-03-26].