Genus Neophya Selys, 1881

Type species: Neophya rutherfordi Selys, 1881


Endemic to tropical Africa, the genus’s only known species is small (hindwing 21-26 mm) with very spindly legs, and unusually wide open-veined and broadly amber-stained wings. N. rutherfordi occurs at rainforest streams and small rivers (typically with much organic material) from central DR Congo to western Africa, but is seldom seen, males even more rarely than females; the spider-like larvae are easier to find. Adults flutter or hover erratically over water, with the wing colour well visible. It is largely glossy black, marked boldly with yellow as follows: labium and anteclypeus, three broad stripes on each side of thorax, exterior surfaces of mid and hind tibiae, and a lateral series of dots on abdominal segments 2-5. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]


Male of genus is similar to Hemicordulia by (a) posterior border of eyes arched prominently at about midheight; (b) wings with 1 Cux; supratriangles without cross-veins; (c) Hw arculus aligned with proximal border of triangle, sometimes just proximal or distal to it; (d) anterior side of tibiae (at least on hind legs) with longitudinal ridge-like keels; (e) S2-4 all without transverse ridge. However, differs by (1) smaller size, Hw 21-26 mm; (2) Fw discoidal cell quadrangular; (3) discoidal field in both wings largely of 1 row; (4)Rspl absent; (5) sectors of arculus fused for distance almost equal to arculus length; (6) small anal triangle present. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014; this diagnosis not yet verified by author]

Neophya rutherfordi Selys, 1881. Male © KD Dijkstra

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. (in prep.). Odonata of the Congo: checklist, bibliography, gazetteer, new records, species descriptions, and taxonomic notes with an emphasis on Elattoneura, Mesocnemis and Congothemis. Zoologische Mededelingen. [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.
  • 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. [2017-03-26].