Ceriagrion banditum Kipping & Dijkstra

Dijkstra, Klaas-Douwe B., Kipping, Jens & Mézière, Nicolas, 2015, Sixty new dragonfly and damselfly species from Africa (Odonata), Odonatologica 44 (4), pp. 447-678: 504-510

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http://doi.org/ 10.5281/zenodo.35388

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scientific name

Ceriagrion banditum Kipping & Dijkstra

sp. nov.

Ceriagrion banditum Kipping & Dijkstra   ZBK   sp. nov. – Band-eyed Citril (Type Photo 15, Photo 21–22, Fig. 10)


Dijkstra (2005 a) reviewed the suave   -complex of Ceriagrion   and suggest- ed that various taxa may be synonymous. However, up to four superficially similar taxa that differ clearly genetically and subtly in ecology, coloration and morphology overlap in southern central Africa ( Tree 2). Additional taxa may occur elsewhere: western African specimens appear similar to C.suave Ris, 1921   but are slightly distinct morphologically ( Fig. 10) and genetically ( Tree 2). These could represent C. moorei Longfield, 1952   of which C. hamoni Fraser, 1955   is possibly a synonym. Marshall & Gambles (1977) separated C. suave   and C. moorei   from northern Ghana by the penis shape, but while this suggests that similar taxa overlap there too, whether their interpretation agrees with type material must be investigated. Dijkstra & Clausnitzer (2014) also provided insufficient information to distinguish the various taxa in the complex, which they separated from C. ignitum Campion, 1914   and C. kordofanicum Ris, 1924   only by (a) the moderate size, Hw 17.0–23.0 mm rather than 15.0–17.0 mm; although (b) the greenish rather than deep reddish eyes with maturity are also diagnostic. All species further have (c) rather dull orange to brown dorsa of the head and thorax; (d) uniformly orange to red abdomen; (e) apically pointed penis with acute or finger-like lateral lobes; (f) no toothed processes on the apical border of S 10; and (g) paraprocts that do not or barely reach beyond the cerci and that have a fairly distinct angular heel ventrally. True C. suave   favours temporary pools such as rain puddles and, as confirmed with the holotype and a paratype in MRAC, is (1) notably uniform in colour, brown to orange on the head and thorax grading to yellow on the face and flanks, and typically without a darker greyish or greenish tinge to the head dorsum, nor with distinctly whitish thoracic flanks and/or blackish dots on the humeral and metapleural sutures; (2) often has largely yellow-stained wings; (3) the penis does not have drawn-out finger-like lateral lobes; (4) the dorsal excision of the apical border of S 10 is up to half as deep as the segment is dorsally long, and its borders are pale; (5) the cerci have the apical black teeth turned downward and thus usually not visible in dorsal view; and (6) the tips of the paraprocts reach at most as far as those (or even the apical teeth) of the cerci ( Fig. 10). The suave   -complex species’ similarity stems from the shared lack of conspicuous characters rather than from common ancestry ( Tree 2): ecology, genetics, coloration and appendages and penis shape indicate that C. suave   is very close to the ubiquitous C. glabrum (Burmeister, 1839)   , while two new species described here are nearer C. bakeri Fraser, 1941   but lack its bright blue head and thorax. Known only from the coastal plain of Mozambique and Tanzania, the similarly dull C. mourae Pinhey, 1969   differs by having 10 rather than 12–14 Fw postnodal cross-veins, the rectangular rath- er than trapezoidal Pt, and in the shape of the male appendages ( Fig. 10).

Material studied

Holotype ♂. RMNH.INS. 508068, Zambia, Northern Province, Lake Chila near Mbala , boggy eastern lake shore, at shallow grassy pools, 1619 m a.s.l. (8.8341 ° S 31.3948 ° E), 08-xii- 2014, leg. J. Kipping, RMNH ( Photo 21) View Materials GoogleMaps   . Further material. MALAWI (Central Region): 2 ♂, 45 km SW of Lilongwe , Lilongwe District, Dzalanyama Forest Reserve, SE of Dzalanyama Forest Lodge , miombo woodland with rocky areas and marshy grassland, 1250 m a.s.l. (14.26 ° S 33.455 ° E), 27–29 -xii- 2001, leg. K.- D.B. Dijkstra, RMNH GoogleMaps   . 1 ♂ (identification suspected), MALAWI (Southern Region): Blantyre District, Blantyre , Sunnyside , Smythe Road , rough grass in suburban garden, 1000 m a.s.l. (15.7922 ° S 34.9943 ° E), 06-xi- 2001, leg. K.- D.B. Dijkstra, RMNH GoogleMaps   . MO- ZAMBIQUE (Zambezia Province): 1 ♂, 15 km NE of Gurue, Namuli Massif, Muretha Plateau , grassy plateau with streams, boggy pits and forest patches, 1860 –1890 m a.s.l. (15.3883 ° S 37.0467 ° E), 05-xii- 2001, leg. K.- D.B. Dijkstra, RMNH GoogleMaps   . ZAMBIA (Copperbelt Province): 1 ♂ ( RMNH.INS. 508067), Chimfunshi Wildlife Reserve near Chingola , shallow pool in grassy dambo near gallery forest, 1296 m a.s.l. (12.3676 ° S 27.4831 ° E), 20 -xi- 2014, leg. J. Kipping, RMNH View Materials GoogleMaps   . 3 ♂ 3 ♀, same locality, same dates, CJKL GoogleMaps   . ZAMBIA (Northern Province): 1 ♂ ( RMNH.INS. 508066), Shiwa N’gandu, Kapishya Hot Springs , shallow grassy pools near Mansha River ( Photo 22), 1434 m a.s.l. (11.1703 ° S 31.6057 ° E), 04-xii- 2014, leg. J. Kipping, RMNH View Materials GoogleMaps   . 1 ♂ 1 ♀, same locality, 06-xii- 2014, leg. J. Kipping, RMNH GoogleMaps   . 1 ♂ 1 ♀ same locality, 04-xii- - 2014, leg. J. Kipping, BMNH   . 1 ♂ 1 ♀ same locality, 04-xii- 2014, leg. J. Kipping, CJKL   . ZAMBIA (Northwestern Province): 1 ♂ ( RMNH.INS. 507960), Ikelenge, Sakeji School on Hillwood Farm , grassy ditches at forest edge 1 405 m a.s.l. (11.2332 ° S 24.3125 ° E), 25 -ii- 2010, leg. J. Kipping, CJKL View Materials GoogleMaps   . 1 ♀ ( RMNH.INS. 508069), as holotype, RMNH View Materials GoogleMaps   . 2 ♂ ( RMNH.INS. 508070), 1 ♀, locality as holotype, 11 -xii- 2014, leg. J. Kipping, CJKL View Materials GoogleMaps   .


Three unique haplotypes (n= 6) nearest to C. bakeri   and C. junceum   sp. nov. ( Tree 2).

Male morphological diagnosis

Distinct within the suave   -complex (see above) by its (1) greater size, Hw 21.5–22.5 mm (n = 13) rather than 17.0–21.0 mm; (2) sleeker build with the wing tips reaching at most a third down the length of S 6, rather than halfway or beyond, and Hw 50–51 % of full length (n= 8), versus 51–57 % in C.suave   (n= 9); (3) two narrow horizontal dark bands on the greenish eyes, which are typically lost with maturity in other species; (4) rather intermediate colour of head and thorax, i.e., neither quite uniformly orange like C.suave   , nor more two-toned brown and cream with dark dots on the sutures as C.sakejii Pinhey, 1963   and C. junceum   ; (5) often distinctly reddish rather than pale brown Pt; (6) penis with finger-like lateral lobes, rather like C. bakeri   ( Fig. 10); (7) apical excision on S 10 being about a third as deep as the segment and bordered with tiny black denticles that appear as dark ridges; (8) cerci that in dorsal view appear narrowed and twisted distally, with the apical black tooth turned in- and base-wards, from above thus being well visible and lying almost halfway the cerci; and (9) tips of the paraprocts that typically fall clearly short of those of the cerci ( Fig. 10).


Medieval Latin “banished”, the origin of the word bandit, which refers to the banded eyes recalling the mask of a bandit (neuter adjective).

Range and ecology

Known from northern Zambia to northern Mozambique between 1 000 and 1 900 m a.s.l. While poorly preserved, males in MRAC from Lubumbashi in southern Congo-Kinshasa also appear to belong to this species ( Map 4). Exact habitat difference with other species unclear, but occurs at shallow grassy pools in dambos, open depressions that flood seasonally (see C. junceum   ). Also found away from water in half-open miombo woodland.


Belgium, Tervuren, Musee Royal de l'Afrique Centrale


Netherlands, Leiden, Nationaal Natuurhistorische Museum ("Naturalis") [formerly Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historie]




United Kingdom, London, The Natural History Museum [formerly British Museum (Natural History)]