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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Cladus: Ecdysozoa
Cladus: Panarthropoda
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Classis: Insecta
Cladus: Dicondylia
Subclassis: Pterygota
Cladus: Metapterygota
Cladus: Odonatoptera
Cladus: Holodonata
Ordo: Odonata
Subordo: Zygoptera
Superfamilia: Calopterygoidea

Familia: Calopterygidae
Subfamiliae: Calopteryginae - Hetaerininae

Overview of genera

ArchineuraAtrocalopteryx – Bryoplathanon – CaliphaeaCalopteryxEchoHetaerinaIridictyonMatrona – Matronoides – MnaisMnesareteNeurobasisNoguchiphaea – Ormenophlebia – PhaonPsolodesmusSaphoUmma – Vestalaria – Vestalis


Calopterygidae Selys, 1850

Fleck, G.; Waller, A.; Serafin, J.; Nel, A. 2009: The oldest Calopterygidae in the Eocene Baltic amber (Odonata: Zygoptera). Zootaxa, 1985: 52–56. Abstract & excerpt
Nel, A.; Petrulevičius, J.F. 2010: Afrotropical and Nearctic genera of Odonata in the French Oligocene: biogeographic and paleoclimatic implications (Insecta: Calopterygidae, Aeshnidae). Annales de la Société entomologique de France (n.s.), 46: 228–236. ISSN: 0037-9271 [not seen]
Dijkstra, K.-D.B., Kalkman, V.J., Dow, R.A., Stokvis, F.R. & Tol, J. van 2014. Redefining the damselfly families: a comprehensive molecular phylogeny of Zygoptera (Odonata). Systematic Entomology 39(1): 68–96. DOI: 10.1111/syen.12035 Open access. Reference page.

Vernacular names
Deutsch: Prachtlibellen
English: Broad-winged damselflies
español: Calopterígidos
suomi: Neidonkorennot
日本語: カワトンボ科
한국어: 물잠자리과
lietuvių: Gražutės
Nederlands: Beekjuffers
norsk: Praktvannymfer
polski: Świteziankowate
svenska: Jungfrusländor
Tiếng Việt: Họ Chuồn chuồn kim cánh rộng

Zicha, Ondřej et al. Calopterygidae – Taxon details on Biological Library (BioLib).
Calopterygidae – Taxon details on BugGuide.
Calopterygidae – Taxon details on Encyclopedia of Life (EOL).
Calopterygidae – Taxon details on Fauna Europaea.
Calopterygidae – Taxon details on Fossilworks.
Calopterygidae – Taxon details on Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).
Calopterygidae – Taxon details on Interim Register of Marine and Non-marine Genera (IRMNG).
Calopterygidae – Taxon details on Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).
Calopterygidae – Taxon details on National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
Calopterygidae in the World Register of Marine Species

The Calopterygidae are a family of damselflies, in the suborder Zygoptera.[1] They are commonly known as the broad-winged damselflies,[2] demoiselles, or jewelwings.[3] These rather large damselflies have wingspans of 50–80 mm (compared to about 44 mm in the common bluetail damselfly, Ischnura elegans), are often metallic-coloured, and can be differentiated from other damselflies by the broader connection between the wings and the body, as opposed to the abrupt narrowing seen in other damselfly families.[4] The family contains some 150 species.

The Calopterygidae are found on every continent except Antarctica. They live along rivers and streams.[5]


The name is derived from Greek kalos meaning beautiful and ptery meaning winged.

The adults have metallic bodies; their wings are broader, with wider bases than other damselflies, and at rest hold their wings parallel to the body, slightly elevated. Some species have conspicuously colored wings; in males, the wings are usually blue, without pterostigmas, in females green or brown.[6][7] Species are often quite variable in color and patterning, and they are sexually dimorphic. Color intensity may fade with age.[5] The wings are heavily veined, having often 18 or more antenodal veins. The first segment of their antennae is longer than the combined length of the other segments. They have a jerky, skipping form of flight similar to the flight pattern of a butterfly (fluttering, rather than hovering stably like many other damselfly and dragonfly families). At least one species of Calopterygiadae has shown morphological plasticity in wing length due to the closeness of a forest to the river or stream where they live with a further forest correlating to greater wing length.[8] They perch horizontally on twigs near the water's edge.[6][7]

Calopterygidae nymphs have lateral gills are longer than the median gills.[9] The nymphs have a flattened, pentagonal-shaped head, a long first antennal segment and long legs. They are found among submerged aquatic plants, woody debris and the exposed roots of streamside plants. There is a single generation per year.[7] The time spent in the larval stage is influenced by both biotic factors, such as fat reserves, and abiotic factors, such as temperature, so they have the highest chances of surviving and reproducing.[10]
Hetaerina americana mating: sperm removal

Males are often territorial, guarding riverine habitat that is sought after by females for egg deposition. Some males are not territorial. Within a species there may be a territorial and nonterritorial morph, which may be different in coloration.[5]

Some species display courtship behavior, especially displays of wing movement by the male.[5] At least one genus (Hetaerina) displays lekking behavior.[11]

During mating, the male first removes other males' sperm from the female's reproductive tract, then places his own sperm there. The intromittent organ of the male has spines that physically remove rival sperm and also stimulate the female's muscles to contract and expel the sperm. In many species, the male accompanies the female when she searches for a site to lay eggs; in some cases, he even remains attached to her.[5] The guarding of females post-copulation is done so another male does not mate with the female before laying her eggs even though the male may be able to reproduce with other females and in the case of Hetaerina species, the male may lose his territory during the time spent guarding.[12]

Like all Odonata species, the species in this family are carnivorous in both their larval and adult stages. Larvae tend to feed on smaller invertebrates, such as mayflies[9]
Western bluewing (Sapho ciliata) male, Ghana
Glistening demoiselle (Phaon iridipennis) male, Ghana
Further information: List of damselflies of the world (Calopterygidae)

Subfamily Caliphaeinae Tillyard & Fraser, 1939 – the clearwings:

Caliphaea Hagen in Selys, 1859
Noguchiphaea Asahina, 1976

Subfamily Calopteryginae Selys, 1859 – the demoiselles:

Archineura Kirby, 1894
Atrocalopteryx Dumont, Vanfleteren, De Jonckheere, & Weekers, 2005
Calopteryx Leach, 1815
Echo Selys, 1853
Iridictyon Needham & Fisher, 1940
Matrona Selys, 1853
Mnais Selys, 1853
Neurobasis Selys, 1853
Phaon Selys, 1853
Psolodesmus McLachlan, 1870
Sapho Selys, 1853
Umma Kirby, 1890
Vestalis Selys, 1853

Subfamily Hetaerininae Selys, 1853 – the rubyspots and others:

Hetaerina Cowley, 1934
Mnesarete Hagen in Selys, 1853


"Family CALOPTERYGIDAE". Australian Faunal Directory. Australian Biological Resources Study. 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
Calopterygidae. Digital Key to Aquatic Insects of North Dakota. Valley City State University.
Calopterygidae. Dragonflies and Damselflies of Ecuador. Electronic Field Guide Project, University of Massachusetts, Boston.
“Broad-Winged Damselflies.” Calopterygidae Family - Broad-Winged Damselflies,
Córdoba-Aguilar, A. & Cordero-Rivera, A. (2005). Evolution and ecology of Calopterygidae (Zygoptera: Odonata): status of knowledge and research perspectives. Neotrop. Entomol 34(6), 861-879.
Dijkstra, K. B. Field Guide to the Dragonflies of Britain and Europe. British Wildlife Publishing, 2006. ISBN 0-9531399-4-8. Pages 23, 65.
Capinera, J. L. (2008). Encyclopedia of Entomology. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 1243–1244. ISBN 978-1-4020-6242-1.
Taylor, Philip D., and Gray Merriam. “Wing Morphology of a Forest Damselfly Is Related to Landscape Structure.” Oikos, vol. 73, no. 1, May 1995, p. 43.,
Calopterygidae. UNH Center for Freshwater Biology.
Córdoba-Aguilar, Alejandro, and Adolfo Cordero-Rivera. “Evolution and Ecology of Calopterygidae (Zygoptera: Odonata): Status of Knowledge and Research Perspectives.” Neotropical Entomology, vol. 34, no. 6, Dec. 2005, pp. 861–879.,
Córdoba-Aguilar, A., et al. (2009). The lek mating system of Hetaerina damselflies (Insecta: Calopterygidae). Behaviour, 146, 189-207.
Alcock, John. “Post-Copulatory Mate Guarding by Males of the Demselfly Hetaerina Vulnerata Selys (Odonata: Calopterygidae).” Animal Behaviour, vol. 30, no. 1, Feb. 1982, pp. 99–107.,

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