Suborder Anisoptera
Family Corduliidae

Family Corduliidae figure 1

Mostly strong-flying dragonflies, many with metallic sheen. As in most Anisoptera, the eyes are contiguous dorsally, but not in so long a seam as in Libellulidae and Aeshnidae.

Corduliidae and Macromiidae share many advances in wing venation with the similar Synthemistidae, including the perpendicular forewing triangle, but differ in that the antenodal crossveins bridging the costal and subcostal spaces uniformly coincide where they meet at the subcostal vein. More advanced is their continued development of the anal loop, which in most corduliid species is elongated and is beginning to show the 'boot shape' more characteristic of the Libellulidae, though in Corduliidae it still lacks a strongly- developed 'toe' (as shown below).

The male hindwings in some genera have well-developed anal triangles and anal angles, with corresponding auricles on S2; other genera do not have these features. Most however have a strongly cylindrical abdomen, unlike the roof-like, peaked structure found in most Libellulidae. The mesopleural (or humeral) suture is straight in Corduliidae, whereas in Libellulidae the mesopleural suture has a pronounced S- curve in the middle (see below).

Family Corduliidae figure 2


Key to the genera of Papuan Corduliidae

1 Two cross-veins between sectors of arculus basal to fork of IR3 in hindwing (a); bridge cross-vein located between subnodus and oblique vein (b) (below, left); ovipositor long, spoon-like, extending to or beyond end of abdomenMetaphya Laidlaw (1 sp.)

- Three or four cross-veins between sectors of arculus basal to fork of IR3 in hindwing (a); bridge cross-vein(s) at or proximal to subnodus (b) (below, right); ovipositor short, less than half the length of sternite 92


Family Corduliidae figure 3

2 Four cross-veins between sectors of arculus basal to fork of IR3 in hindwing. Bridge cross-vein(s) distinctly proximal to subnodus (above right). Distribution: Solomon Islands Guadalca Kimmins (1 sp.)

- Three cross-veins between sectors of arculus basal to fork of IR3 in hindwing. Single bridge cross-vein at subnodus 3

3 Anal angle of male hindwing rounded and usually without a distinct anal triangle (below, left); S2 without auricles. Females difficult to distinguish from Procordulia without associated males Hemicordulia Selys (11 sp.)

- Anal angle of male hindwing at least slightly angulated and with an anal triangle (below, right); S2 with auricles (sometimes tiny). Females difficult to distinguish from Hemicordulia without associated males Procordulia Martin (3 sp.)


Family Corduliidae figure 4

Genus Guadalca Kimmins, 1957

A monotypic genus confined to the Solomon Islands.


Genus Hemicordulia Selys, 1870

This genus ranges from Africa through southern Asia to the Pacific. Small to medium-sized dragonflies, black, sometimes metallic and yellow. Thirteen species (including the poorly-defined H. novaehollandiae and the dubious records of H. oceanica) are currently known from the region. There are certainly others yet to be described.

Members of this genus have reached the highest elevations in New Guinea of any known odonate species. Lieftinck (1942) provides a fascinating description of the habits and habitat of H. olympica and H. ericetorum in the vicinity of Lake Habbema in Indonesian New Guinea (Papua) [pp. 551-555].


Genus Metaphya Laidlaw, 1912

Originally one species from New Guinea, Metaphya tillyardi Ris, was attributed to this genus by Lieftinck, but he subsumed Metaphya into Anacordulia in 1938, at the same time adding one more species (A. stuberi) to the latter. Nonetheless, it is the genus Metaphya that actually has historical priority. In addition, A. stuberi (described only from the female), has since been synonymized with M. tillyardi, thus returning to the earlier circumstance of one genus, one species. Other species occur in Borneo and New Caledonia.


Genus Procordulia Martin, 1906

This genus ranges from Malaysia and the Philippines through Indonesia and New Guinea to New Zealand and Fiji. They are small to medium-sized dragonflies, patterned in black and orange-yellow. Three species are known from New Guinea.

Procordulia leopoldi
Procordulia leopoldi