Suborder Zygoptera
Family Disparoneuridae

Nososticta salomonis
Nososticta salomonis, Photo by Stephen Moore

The members of this family were formally considered part of the Protoneuridae, but DNA and other evidence suggests the New World taxa are not closely related to the Old World taxa, with the result that the latter were placed into a family of their own. One genus is known from the Papuan region. At present it comprises 48 published taxa with more certain to follow.

Genus Nososticta Hagen in Selys, 1860

(Notoneura Selys)

Family Disparoneuridae figure 1

Nososticta solida* (from Munz, 1919)

Extremely slender, small to medium-sized damselflies, predominantly black or sometimes very dark brown. The males of many of the Papuan species have bright red, blue, orange or yellow marks on thorax, terminal abdominal appendages and/or S8-10 of the abdomen.

For the purposes of identification, the Papuan Nososticta (as presently known) may be broken down into blue-tailed, red-tailed, and black-tailed species, based on the predominant colors of S8-10 of the males.


Family Disparoneuridae figure 2

Genus Nososticta – Blue-Tailed

Group A: Males with one or more terminal abdominal segments blue dorsally, not including terminalia.

Two species treated here (N. cyanura and N. thalassina) are described as having S8-10 black with narrow blue rings, and N. conifera seems to have blue terminalia but black S8-10; for this reason they will be also be considered under the 'black- tailed' taxa in addition to the treatment that follows. N. lorentzi appears to be morphologically identical with N. nigrifrons (which was originally described from incomplete specimens).

As such, the 10 'blue-tailed' Papuan Nososticta are:

N. africana (Schmidt 1944)
N. conifera Theischinger & Richards 2006a (part)
N. cyanura (Lieftinck 1932, see also 1937, 1939)
N. nigrifrons (1932, see also 1949) [N. lorentzi (Lieftinck, 1938, see also 1949)]
N. nigrofasciata (Lieftinck 1932, see also 1949)
N. phoenissa (Ris 1929 - see Lieft. 1930)
N. salomonis (Selys 1886 - see Lieft.1932, 1949)
N. thalassina (Lieftinck 1949)
N. wallacii (Selys 1886 - see Lieft. 1932, 1937, 1949)


Family Disparoneuridae figure 3


Genus Nososticta – Red-Tailed

Group B: Males with one or more terminal abdominal segments red dorsally, not including terminalia.

This group comprises 15 taxa and two others for which this character is uncertain based on published descriptions.

N. acudens Theischinger & Richards – female unknown
? N. sp. nov. Michalski & Richards (in prep) (= N. smilodon ?)
N. astrolabica (Förster) - female unknown
N. beatrix (Lieftinck)
N. dorsonigra (Martin, part) - female unknown
? N. eburnea (Förster)
? N. egregia (Lieftinck)
N. erythroprocta (Selys)
N. erythrura efasciata (Lieftinck) - female unknown
N. erythrura erythrura (Lieftinck)
N. evelynae (Lieftinck) - female unknown
N. finisterrae (Förster)
N. fonticola (Lieftinck)
N. irene (Lieftinck)
N. pyroprocta (Lieftinck)
N. silvicola (Lieftinck) - female unknown
N. smilodon Theischinger & Richards – female unknown


Genus Nososticta – Black-Tailed

Group C: The black-tailed group, comprising 21 taxa, is discussed below.

Two species (N. cyanura and N. thalassina) are described as having S8-10 black with narrow blue rings, and N. conifera seems to have blue terminalia but black S8-10; therefore they are treated under the 'blue-tailed' taxa as well as the 'black-tailed' taxa.

N. pseudexul was described by Ris from one female and a teneral male; details of its anatomy and coloration are therefore somewhat unreliable.

N. atrocyana (Lieftinck)
N. aurantiaca (Lieftinck)
N. callisphaena (Lieftinck)
N. chalybeostoma (Lieftinck)
N. circumscripta (Selys)
N. commutata (Lieftinck)
N. conifera (part) Theischinger & Richards
N. cyanura (part) (Lieftinck)
N. exul (Selys)
N. flavipennis (Selys)
N. marina (Ris)
N. melanoxantha (Lieftinck)
N. moluccensis (Selys)
N. plagiata (Selys)
N. plagioxantha (Lieftinck)
? N. pseudexul (Ris)
N. rangifera (Lieftinck)
N. rosea cruentata (Lieftinck)
N. rosea rosea (Ris)
N. thalassina (part) (Lieftinck)
N. xanthe (Lieftinck)