Suborder Anisoptera
Family Gomphidae

Family Gomphidae figure 1

The Gomphidae represent one of the more primitive groups of Anisoptera, characterized by their widely separated compound eyes (as shown below) and unspecialized wing venation. Most gomphines are clear- winged. Females do not have an ovipositor and they typically deposit their eggs on the wing, in swift sorties over suitable stretches of open water. They are typically low-perchers, preferring to land on the ground, on rocks, logs, horizontal branches and large leaves. The larvae are shallow burrowers in mud, sand and other sediments. Largely unable to climb, they typically emerge onto some flat surface to undergo transformation into the adult.

Strangely, only one species (Ictinogomphus australis lieftincki) is recorded from the entire Papuan region. It is known from New Guinea and possibly Halmahera in Maluku.


Widely-separated compound eyes (Ictinogomphus)
Widely-separated compound eyes (Ictinogomphus)
(by the author)