ANISOPTERAN families

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Number of families = 13

FamilyNo of generaNo of speciesRemarks
AESHNIDAE49433Large dragonflies with very large eyes broadly confluent across top of head. Females with functional zygoptera-like ovipositor. Wing venation: triangles of both wings strongly extended along axis of wing. Larvae with a simple, flat, labium lying below the head; eyes usually very large; generally, but not always, narrow-bodied. Larvae occur in diverse habits but commonly met species are most often weed-dwellers. Several widespread and cosmopolitan groups exist.
AUSTROPETALIIDAE411Large, brown dragonflies, eyes barely touching, or slightly separated, at top of head. Numerous short, narrow yellow markings on body and with large red splotches near the costal margin of wings. Aeshnid affinities. Restricted to Australia and Chile.
CHLOROGOMPHIDAE244Large black dragonflies with strong yellow markings, eyes touching dorsally or separated in male, generally separated in female. Females without an ovipositor. Larvae with spoon-shaped labium with broad lateral lobes. Sister group to Cordulegasteridae
CORDULEGASTRIDAE445Large black dragonflies with strong yellow markings, eyes touching dorsally or separated in male, generally separated in female. Females with a large pseudo-ovipositor. Larvae with spoon-shaped labium with broad lateral lobes. Sister group to Chlorogomphidae
CORDULIIDAE23154Small to large dragonflies; male eyes confluent across top of head, female eyes at least touching. Females without functional ovipositor, some forms have pseudo-ovipositor. Tibiae keeled in males. Wing venation: triangles of forewings slightly extended across axis of wing; triangles of hindwing equilateral or slightly extended along wing. Adults usually fliers, often with metallic thoracic markings. Larvae generally, but not always, squat; with a spoon-shaped labium, palps held in front of face; eyes small.
EPIOPHLEBIIDAE13Group basal to the crown group Anisoptera sensu stricto. Sometimes placed in 'Anisozygoptera' but relationships to the heterogeneous 'Anisozygoptera' of the Mesozoic problematic. Many taxonomists now place Epiophlebiidae as basal to the Anisoptera crown group rather than in Anisozygoptera.
Three very similar species from Japan, the Himalayas, and NE China with wing venation 'intermediate' between Zygoptera and Anisoptera (crown group). Discoidal cell four-sided like Zygoptera, wing-bases petiolate. Male copulatory apparatus derived from different structures than those found in either Zygoptera or Anisoptera (crown group). Larva 'anisopteran' in facies with a rectal gill structure, but without a diaphragm adequate to 'jet'. Adult and larvae have numerous apparently plesiomorphic characters (viz Asahina 1954). Pritykina 1980 argues for Epiophlebia to be incorporated within a more widely defined Anisoptera. If the compact larva with rectal gills is taken as the defining synapomorphy of Anisoptera this follows.
GOMPHIDAE91957Slender small to large dragonflies, eyes widely separated on top of head. Female lacking functional ovipositor. Wing venation: triangles of forewings near equilateral, hindwing triangles may be slightly extended along the axis of the wing. Larvae distinguished by two tarsal articles on forelegs, antennae four-segmented, terminal segment very short. Cosmopolitan, perchers, swift fliers, generally frequent running water. Complexes of closely related species a common feature.
LIBELLULIDAE139988Small to large dragonflies; male eyes confluent across top of head, female eyes at least touching. Females without functional ovipositor. Tibiae never keeled in males. Wing venation: triangles of forewings generally strongly extended across axis of wing (broken in some small forms); triangles of hindwing equilateral or slightly extended along wing. Adults perchers or fliers, rarely with metallic markings. Larvae generally, but not always, squat, with a spoon-shaped labium, palps held in front of face; eyes various.
LIBELLULOIDEA_incertae_sedis1890Genera previously placed in Corduliidae, but of uncertain affinity. On molecular data these group with Synthemistidae, but this is likely due to long branch attraction (Dijkstra et al 2013a).
MACROMIIDAE4122Large bold-coloured dragonflies (black, yellow) with distinctive, long-legged, flattened larvae. Sister group to Corduliidae (sensu stricto) within which it was previously incorporated in some taxonomies.
NEOPETALIIDAE11Monotypic family, restricted to Chile. Adults resemble Austropetaliidae: large, brown dragonflies, eyes barely touching on top of head, with numerous short, narrow yellow markings and with large red splotches near the costal margin of wings; larvae apparently with strong libellulid affinities (distinguishes this family from the aeshnid-like larvae of Austropetaliidae).
PETALURIDAE510Large to gigantic dragonflies: body length ranges from ~60mm in Tanypteryx to 130mm in Petalura. Eyes widely separated on top of head, males with large, petal-shaped superior appendages, females with large, curved, functional ovipositor. Colours yellow/pale yellow/parchment on dark brown or black body. Larval labium simple, lying below head, with tooth at base of movable hook. Larvae construct tunnels in soil in swamps or seepages or live under leaf litter in seepages.
Relictual distribution: Australia, New Zealand, Chile, east and northwest coasts of temperate N.Am, Japan.
SYNTHEMISTIDAE743Originally erected as an Austro-papuan radiation interpreted as sister to the (restricted) Corduliidae. Now potentially with many more diverse genera attached than in the traditional Synthemistidae. New grouping based on DNA sequencing of deep relationships, monophyly suspect.