Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


Regional Maps



Compiler and date details

September 2014 - ABRS

W.W.K. Houston, Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra, ACT, Australia J.A.L. Watson, CSIRO Entomology, Canberra, ACT, Australia Updated (1999) by A.A. Calder, CSIRO Entomology, Canberra, ACT, Australia


The family Calopterygidae is moderately large and cosmopolitan (cf. Davies 1981), but only one species, Neurobasis (Calopteryginae), has been recorded from Australia. No recent material is available and the status and identity of the Australian species is uncertain. Several allied species of Neurobasis occur abundantly in New Guinea and adjacent northern islands.

The generic name Calopteryx Leach, 1815, on which the family name is based, has had a chequered history, hinging on the usage of the generic name Agrion Fabricus, 1775 (cf. Montgomery, 1954; 1962). Leach (1815) fixed Libellula virgo Linnaeus, 1758, as type species of Calopteryx (as Calepteryx, evidently a printer's error); Libellula puella Linnaeus thereby became type species of Agrion, by elimination. Latreille (1810) had, however, already selected Libellula virgo Linnaeus, 1758 as type species of Agrion, a neglected designation validated by Opinion 11 of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature in 1910 (Montgomery 1954). On the basis on Latreille's selection, Kirby (1890) suppressed Calopteryx in favour of Agrion and proposed the name Coenagrion for a genus with Libellula puella Linnaeus, 1758 as type. The rejection by many odonatists of Kirby's change in long-established usage, and the resulting confusion in names of both genus group and family group, have caused so many problems that there is now tacit agreement among odonatists that the name Agrion should be set aside and the unambiguous names Calopteryx and Coenagrion retained.



Adult: numerous antenodal crossveins, aligned, the primary antenodals not differentiated; wings broad, not petiolate, densely reticulate, commonly pigmented in males, pterostigma often reduced or absent; arc near wing base; discoidal cell traversed by crossveins; median space crossed or free; anal vein separate from base of wings; synthoracic intersegmental suture well developed.

Larva: labium flat, lacking major setae, palps narrow with three sharp distal teeth, median lobe deeply cleft; pedicel of antenna hypertrophied; gills elongate, median gill lamellate, lateral gills triquetral.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
10-May-2022 ODONATA 21-Mar-2022 MODIFIED
19-Jul-2012 19-Jul-2012 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)