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Sixty New Dragonfly Species Described from Africa

Anax gladiator, one of 60 new dragonfly species described from Africa.


The number of dragonfly species known in Africa has increased by almost 10%, from 700 to 760 species. The new species are described in the journal Odonatologica.

“The current emphasis on molecular research creates the impression that the undiscovered life is inconspicuous or hidden, but each of our new species is colorful and easy to identify,” said KD Dijkstra, one of the authors. “It’s a matter of going outside and knowing what you’re looking for.”

Some of the new species were given interesting names. For example, Umma gumma was named after the 1969 Pink Floyd album Ummagumma. Another, Notogomphus gorilla, is named after the Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei). Others are named after other entomologists who worked on dragonflies in Africa, and many are named after African rivers, parks, or provinces.

“Names introduce species to humanity,” Dijkstra said. “All awareness, conservation and research of nature starts with the question: which species is that?”

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Sixty new dragonfly and damselfly species from Africa (Odonata)

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