A New Dragonfly Species Discovered in Brazil

A female Erythrodiplax ana.

By Diogo Vilela

My colleagues and I discovered a new species of dragonfly in the genus Erythrodiplax (Odonata: Libellulidae) in southwestern Brazil, and we described it in the journal Zootaxa. We started studying it in 2011 at a palm swamp area in Uberlândia, Minas Gerais State, and after comparing it with several species from the same genus, we confirmed in 2014 that it was new and started the description.

Diogo Vilela

We named the species Erythrodiplax ana after Ana, the wife of co-author Rhainer Guillermo-Ferreira, who went through a difficult moment at the time of the study.

An interesting feature about the new species is the ontogenetic change of male coloration. Young males have a green/olive thorax and eye color, but it changes as the males ages until turning completely black.

Males have a blue pruinosity in the dorsal mesepisternum and from the third to the seventh abdominal segment, and brown spots at the wing tips. Females are yellow with brown spots at the wing tips.


Color change according to the age of the male during six days of recapturing. (a) Teneral individual; (b) young male with green olive eyes and thorax; (c) male with darkened green eyes and thorax; (d) male with black eyes and thorax.

We also reared larvae in the laboratory and described the final instar in the paper to make it a complete taxonomic work for the species.

Read more at:

Erythrodiplax ana sp. nov. (Odonata: Libellulidae) from Brazilian palm swamps

Diogo Vilela is a PhD student at the University of São Paulo. His current research involves sexual selection and behavioral ecology using Odonata as models.


  1. Beautiful photos of color change in dragonfly: a most delicate structure. Thank you!

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