Genus Phyllogomphus Selys, 1854


  • scientific: Guineagomphus Compte Sart, 1963 [perisi = coloratus]

Type species: Phyllogomphus aethiops Selys, 1854


Endemic to tropical Africa with about ten species. Males are large (hindwing 35-47 mm), robust and perch conspicuously with abdomen raised, showing the large foliations on abdominal segment 8, thus recalling Ictinogomphus. However, the abdomen tip is distinctly rufous or yellow and abdominal segment 10 is enlarged and bent down, while in Ictinogomphus all segments are aligned and similarly black-and-yellow. Phyllogomphus is also seen flying fast and straight over water, or far from it. Although rivers and large streams in forest are the main habitat, at least P. selysi also occurs in drier landscapes and at large lakes. The species are variable due to these broad preferences, which combined with fragmentary collecting has led to numerous synonyms. Five species with three pale stripes on each side of the thorax occur from eastern Africa to Cameroon: the identification and distribution of P. annulus, P. coloratus, P. schoutedeni and P. selysi is well understood, with P. bongorum recently added from Gabon. However, the species occurring further west, all with five stripes on each side, are taxonomically unresolved: P. aethiops, P. moundi, P. occidentalis and P. pseudoccidentalis have rarely been recorded since their description, and P. bartolozzii and P. helenae not at all. At least P. pseudoccidentalis seems confined to large Sahelian rivers, making it difficult to record. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]


Male of genus is similar to Ceratogomphus by (a) dorsal border of metepisternum without spine; (b) Hw base broad with distinct anal triangle of 3-6 cells, tornus angular and without thick tooth; (c) distinct anal loop of 4-5 cells; (d) posterior hamules large, often overlapping with posterior lamina; (e) S8 with foliations, S9 without; (f) S10 usually not longer than high, if so it has dorsal crest or is constricted at base; (g) S10 with longitudinal dorsal ridge, marked by denticles or blade-like basal process. However, differs by (1) dorsal ridge S10 with denticles, without basal blade and cleft on S9; (2) cerci elongate rather than stout, with apices widely separated. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014; this diagnosis not yet verified by author]

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.


  • Fraser, F.C. (1957). A revision of the genus Phyllogomphus Sélys with description of five new species. Revue de Zoologie et de Botanique Africaines, 56, 9-32. [PDF file]
  • Legrand, J. (2003). Les Odonates du Nimba et de sa région. In: Lamotte, M., and Roy, R. (Editors), Le peuplement animal du mont Nimba (Guinée, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia). Mémoires du Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, 190, 231-310. [PDF file]
  • Dijkstra, K.-D.B.,Clausnitzer, V., and Vick, G.S. (2006). Revision of the three-striped species of Phyllogomphus (Odonata, Gomphidae). Tijdschrift voor Entomologie, 149, 1-14. [PDF file]
  • Longfield, C. (1936). Studies on African Odonata, with synonymy and descriptions of new species and subspecies. Transactions Royal Entomological Society London, 85, 467-498. [PDF file]
  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1962). New or little-known dragonflies (Odonata) of Central and Southern Africa. Occasional Papers National Museum Southern Rhodesia, 26, 892-911. [PDF file]
  • Fraser, F.C. (1949). Gomphidae from the Belgian Congo (order Odonata). Revue Zoologie Botanique Africaines, 42, 101-138. [PDF file]
  • 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. [2024-07-21].