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Ceriagrion glabrum male panorama.jpg
Male Ceriagrion glabrum
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Odonata
Suborder: Zygoptera
Superfamily: Coenagrionoidea
Family: Coenagrionidae
Kirby, 1890[1]
at least 110 genera

The insect family Coenagrionidae is placed in the order Odonata and the suborder Zygoptera.[2] The Zygoptera are the damselflies, which although less known than the dragonflies, are no less common. More than 1,300 species are in this family, making it the largest damselfly family. The family Coenagrionidae has six subfamilies: Agriocnemidinae, Argiinae, Coenagrioninae, Ischnurinae, Leptobasinae, and Pseudagrioninae.[3]

This family is referred to as the narrow-winged damselflies or the pond damselflies.[4] The Coenagrionidae enjoy a worldwide distribution, and are among the most common of damselfly families. This family has the smallest of damselfly species. More than 110 genera of the family Coenagrionidae are currently accepted.[5][3]


The name may be derived from Greek coen meaning shared or common and agrio meaning fields or wild.


forewing of the variable damselfly (Coenagrion pulchellum)
  • Usually have a black pattern
  • Ground color may be green, blue, yellow, orange, or purple
  • Narrow, stalked, usually colorless and clear wings
  • Two antenodal cross veins
  • Vein M3 arising nearer to nodus than arculus

Adults are seen around various habitats including ponds and wetlands. The females lay their eggs among living or dead submerged vegetation, and in some species, even crawl about underwater depositing their eggs. The nymphs are usually found in debris or among living or dead submerged plant material.[6]


Eastern billabong fly (Austroagrion watsoni, female)
Coromandel marsh dart Ceriagrion coromandelianum
Azure damselfly, Coenagrion puella
Blue-tailed damselfly, Ischnura elegans
Saffron-faced blue dart Pseudagrion rubriceps

These genera belong to the family Coenagrionidae:[7][8][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kirby, W.F. (1890). A Synonymic Catalogue of Neuroptera Odonata, or Dragonflies. With an Appendix of fossil species. London: Gurney & Jackson. pp. 202 [148]. doi:10.5962/bhl.title.5534.
  2. ^ Dijkstra, K.D.B.; et al. (2013). "The classification and diversity of dragonflies and damselflies (Odonata). In: Zhang, Z.-Q. (Ed.) Animal Biodiversity: An Outline of Higher-level Classification and Survey of Taxonomic Richness (Addenda 2013)". Zootaxa. 3703 (1): 36–45. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3703.1.9.
  3. ^ a b c "World Odonata List". Slater Museum of Natural History, University of Puget Sound. 2018. Retrieved 2019-05-19.
  4. ^ Borror, D.J.; White, R.E. (1970). A Field Guide to Insects. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 0-395-91171-0.
  5. ^ Integrated Taxonomic Information System (2007). Coenagrionidae, retrieved November 4, 2007.
  6. ^ John L. Capinera (2008). Encyclopedia of Entomology. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 1244–1245. ISBN 978-1-4020-6242-1.
  7. ^ Dijkstra, Klaas‐Douwe B.; Kalkman, Vincent J.; Dow, Rory A.; Stokvis, Frank R.; et al. (2014). "Redefining the damselfly families: a comprehensive molecular phylogeny of Zygoptera (Odonata)". Systematic Entomology. 39: 68–96. doi:10.1111/syen.12035.
  8. ^ "Odonata Central". Retrieved 2019-05-19.

External links[edit]