Genera in the family CALOPTERYGIDAE

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The family CALOPTERYGIDAE ( 16 genera)
Selys 1850
Adult: wings with dense venation; numerous (> 10) antenodal cross veins aligned across costal and subcostal space; primary Ax pair not distinguished; pterostigma much reduced, false or absent; synthoracic intersegmental suture well developed; tend to metallic body colours; wings of males often strongly pigmented, wings of females may be brightly pigmented. Larva: narrow, long-legged; prementum long, narrow, median lobe very deeply incised medially; antennae with hypertrophied pedicel, equal in length to all other segments together; epiproct lamellar, paraprocts triquetral.
Type species:
Libellula virgo Linnaeus 1758
Calopteryx and Calopterygidae are associated with a total taxonomic mess. Usage in the 19th century was as at present, however in 1890 Kirby rediscovered and resurrected an obscure early reference (Latreille 1805) in which Agrion was used as the generic name for this lineage. Kirby's move was supported by the ICZN (1910 opinion 11), which meant everything then referred to Calopteryx became Agrion, and all the stem-winged Zygoptera, known as Agrion, were in need of a new name. Effectively established nomenclature was inverted. This highly destabilised system stuttered on in a most unsatisfactory state until the early 1960s when the Odonata research community reverted to using Calopteryx for the broad-winged forms, retained the coined replacement Coenagrion for the stem-winged forms and suppressed Agrion as being uninformative. Tillyard 1926 coined the barbarism Agriidae (cf Agrionidae) for the Calopterygidae, this usage appeared until about 1960 (e.g. Fraser 1960, Corbet, Longfield & Moore 1960).
The broad wings and densely reticulated venation of the Calopteryginae (Anaciagrion, Archineura, Calopteryx, Echo, Iridyctyon, Matrona, Mnais, Neurobasis, Phaon, Psolodesmus, Sapho, Umma and Vestalis), with hundreds of rectangular cells and wingbases not petiolate are at distinct odds with the narrower wings and (relatively) sparse venation of Hetaerininae (Hetaerina, Mnesarete) and Caliphaeinae (Caliphaea, Noguchiphaea). Molecular data shows Hetaerinae and Calopteryginae (with Caliphaea basal) are sister groups with a deep split.
GenusNo of SpeciesAuthorReference linkRemarks
Archineura2Kirby 1884Kirby 1894c. 
Caliphaea4Hagen 1859Hagen 1860a. 
Calopteryx29Leach 1815Leach 1815b.Erected as Calepteryx, emended by Burmeister 1839 to Calopteryx
Echo4Selys 1853Selys 1853a. 
Hetaerina37Hagen in Selys 1853Selys 1853a. 
Iridictyon2Needham & Fisher, 1940Needham 1940b. 
Matrona5Selys 1853Selys 1853a. 
Mnais14Selys 1853Selys 1853a. 
Mnesarete22Cowley 1934Cowley 1934c.replacement name for Lais Selys 1853, preocc Lais Gistl, 1848 Ascidiacea
Neurobasis11Selys 1853Selys 1853a. 
Noguchiphaea1Asahina 1976Asahina 1976d. 
Phaon3Selys 1853Selys 1853a. 
Psolodesmus1McLachlan 1870McLachlan 1870a. 
Sapho6Selys 1853Selys 1853a. 
Umma11Kirby 1890Kirby 1890a.replacement name for Cleis Selys 1853, preocc. Cleis Mulsant, 1850 Lepidoptera
Vestalis18Selys 1853Selys 1853a.