|Female Austrolestes cingulatus|
Lestidae is a rather small family of cosmopolitan, large-sized, slender damselflies. They are of the order of the dragonflies (Odonata) and are commonly known as "Spreadwings." There are two subfamilies in Lestdae. The first subfamily is Lestinae. Damselflies in Lestinae rest with their wings partly open and the second subfamily is Sympecmatinae. The damselflies in Sympecmatinae rest with their wings folded. These damselflies in this subfamily are reedlings, ringtails, and winter damselflies.
While most damselflies rest with their wings folded together, most members of the family Lestidae hold them at an angle away from their bodies. The pterostigma (a single dark spot in the meshwork of the leading edge near the tip of each wing) is noticeably elongated. The quadrilateral (a part of the wing venation, close to the body) has an acute angle at the end. The body has a greenish metallic shine. The superior anal appendages, commonly called claspers (body parts of male insect for clasping the female during copulation) of male spreadwings are long and strongly curved.
The generic makeup is still disputed going from 12 genera (Davies, 1981) to 8 genera (Bridges, 1994)
- Davies, D.A.L. (1981). A synopsis of the extant genera of the Odonata. Soc. Int. Odonatol. Rapid Comm. 3 : i-xiv 1-59
- Bridges, C.A. (1994). Catalogue of the family-group, genus-group and species-group names of the Odonata of the world. Urbana, Illinois : C.A. Bridges 3rd Edn xiv 951 pp.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lestidae.|