Gynacantha congolica Dijkstra, Dijkstra, 2015

Dijkstra, Klaas-Douwe B., Kipping, Jens & Mézière, Nicolas, 2015, Sixty new dragonfly and damselfly species from Africa (Odonata), Odonatologica 44 (4), pp. 447-678 : 544-548

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.35388


persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Gynacantha congolica Dijkstra

sp. nov.

Gynacantha congolica Dijkstra   ZBK sp. nov. – Congo Duskhawker (Type Photo 25, Photos 39–40, Fig. 15)


Dijkstra (2005 b) reported several specimens from Congo-Kinshasa that were darker and larger than typical G. manderica Grünberg, 1902 and had higher wing vein counts, but hesitated to name them as a distinct taxon. Fresh material revealed additional morphological characters and enabled genetic analysis. While the number of genetic samples is still limited, the distinct morphology and likelihood of geographic overlap are sufficient to separate the two specifically, and they were treated as such by Dijkstra & Clausnitzer (2014).

Material studied

Holotype ♂. Congo-Kinshasa, Province Orientale, Yaekela, Congo River and village on its bank, 420 m a.s.l. (0.80612 ° N 24.28389 ° E), 08-v- 2010, leg. K.- D.B. Dijkstra, RMNH GoogleMaps .

Further material. CONGO-KINSHASA ( Equateur): 1 ♀, Ubangi , Binga , 05– 12 -iii- 1932, leg. H.J. Brédo, MRAC . 1 ♀, Mobeka , undated, leg. unknown, RMNH . CONGO-KINSHASA ( Katanga ): 1 ♀, Elisabethville (= Lubumbashi) , undated, leg. illegible, MRAC . CONGO-KINSHASA (Province Orientale): 1 ♂ ( RMNH.INS. 502331 ), between Yangole and Yaeoli on Yaekela- Lilanda road , blackwater swamp forest, 376 m a.s.l (0.80173 ° N 24.29783 ° E), 05-v- 2010, leg. K.-D.B. Dijkstra, RMNH View Materials GoogleMaps . 1 ♂ ( RMNH.INS. 502214 ), Yaekela , flooded forest and farmbush, 410 m a.s.l. (0.81 ° N 24.28 ° E), 02-v- 2010, leg. K.-D.B. Dijkstra, RMNH View Materials GoogleMaps . 1 ♀, Elisabetha (= Lokutu) , 1920, leg. Mme Tinant, MRAC . CONGO-KINSHASA (Kinshasa Province): 1 ♂, Leopoldville (= Kinshasa) , undated, leg. Duvivier, ISNB . 2 ♀, Kinshasa , 25 -iii- 1899, leg. Waelbroeck, ISNB .


Two unique haplotypes (n= 2) close to two of G. manderica (n = 4) ( Tree 4).

Male morphological diagnosis

Belongs to the bullata -group (see G. pupillata sp. nov.) and similar to G.manderica by (a) the distinctly blackened triangular depression on the venter of the thorax anterior to the poststernum; (b) the dark mid and hind legs with pale streaks on the tibiae; and (c) the posterior portion of the genital fossa border densely set with denticles. However, is (1) larger, Hw 42.0–44.0 mm (n = 4) rather than 35.0–39.0 mm (n = 17); (2) the mark on the frons is broad and pentagonal, rather than narrow and mushroom-like ( Fig. 15); (3)there are no dark dots on the fossae of the humeral and meta- pleural sutures; (4) the wing bases have distinct dark rays to Ax 2–3; and (5)has 22–27 rather than 13–19 Ax in Fw.


The name refers to occurrence in the Congo Basin (feminine adjective).

Range and ecology

Appears to occur in rainforest throughout the Congo Basin between 300 and 420 m a.s.l., possibly favouring sites flooded by river water ( Photo 39). Typical G. manderica prefers dense vegetation in savannas. The two species may overlap locally in eastern Congo-Kinshasa, although we doubt the provenance of the undated Lubumbashi record of G. congolica sp. nov. ( Map 7).


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


Belgium, Tervuren, Musee Royal de l'Afrique Centrale


Belgium, Brussels, Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique