Entomologist Discovers Beautiful New Species of Damselfly

Entomologist Discovers Beautiful New Species of Damselfly

Psaironeura is a small genus of slender, delicate Neotropical damselflies.

The genus currently includes at least six scientifically recognized species.

It ranges from east-central Mexico to northern Brazil and extreme northern Bolivia.

“The family in which Psaironeura was placed, the Protoneuridae, has been reclassified recently, and the Neotropical members of that polyphyletic ‘family’ are now part of the already largest family of damselflies, the Coenagrionidae,” Dr. Tennessen said.

He described the new species, Psaironeura angeloi, based on several type specimens from Ecuador and additional specimens from Panama, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua.

“Psaironeura angeloi ranges from northwest Ecuador north to western Venezuela and west to Nicaragua,” he said.

“The new species is closely related to Psaironeura remissa, a Mexican/northern Central American species with broad, foliate male cerci.”

“In life, the eyes of the new species are bright red in males versus green and black in Psaironeura remissa.”

Psaironeura angeloi measures just 3.7 cm in total length, the fore wings are between 1.8 and 2.1 cm and the hind wings are between 1.6 and 2 cm in length.

“Psaironeura angeloi was collected at small streams with woody riparian vegetation,” Dr. Tennessen said.

“Males perched on partly shaded vegetation at the edge of and over the water, behavior typical of the genus.”

“I did not see mating attempts or any other form of reproductive behavior during midday hours when I encountered this species.”

“The nymphs of all five species of Psaironeura remain undescribed.”

“The nymphs are undoubtedly very small and they likely inhabit shallow seepage trickles, making them difficult to find.”

The discovery was reported in a paper in the journal Zootaxa.


Kenneth J. Tennessen. 2016. Psaironeura angeloi, a new species of damselfly (Zygoptera: Coenagrionidae) from Central and South America. Zootaxa 4078 (1): 028-037; doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.4078.1.5

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This article by Natali Anderson was first published by Sci News on 31 October 2023. Lead Image: Male of Psaironeura angeloi perched along small stream, near Chindul, in Manabí Province, Ecuador. Image credit: K.J. Tennessen.


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