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Chlorolestes tessellatus 2012 04 29 KZN Midlands.jpg
Chlorolestes tessellatus
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Euarthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Odonata
Suborder: Zygoptera
Family: Synlestidae
Tillyard, 1917[1]

The Synlestidae are a family of damselflies[2][3] commonly known as sylphs or malachites.[4] They occur in South Africa, Australia, and South America.[5]


These damselflies are 21 to 36 millimeters long, with slender abdomens.[4] Species are generally metallic green to brown-tinged black in color.[6]


Damselflies of this family are predators. The nymphs live in rivers and streams, and can be found in stagnant pools during the dry season.[4]


There are eight extant genera. There are also several extinct genera known from fossils.[5]

Genera include:


  1. ^ Tillyard, R.J. (1917). The biology of dragonflies (Odonata or Paraneuroptera). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 396 [82]. doi:10.5962/bhl.title.35170.
  2. ^ "Family SYNLESTIDAE". Australian Faunal Directory. Australian Biological Resources Study. 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ a b c Synlestidae. Identification & Ecology of Australian Freshwater Invertebrates. Murray-Darling Basin Authority.
  5. ^ a b Vasilenko, D. V. (2005). New damselflies (Odonata: Synlestidae, Hemiphlebiidae) from the Mesozoic Transbaikalian locality of Chernovskie Kopi. Paleontologicheskii Zhurnal 39(3), 280-83.
  6. ^ Synlestidae. Australian Insect Families. CSIRO, 2016.