Paragomphus dispar Dijkstra, Mézière & Papazian, Dijkstra, Meziere & Papazian, 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 : 596-599

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.35388


persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Paragomphus dispar Dijkstra, Mézière & Papazian

sp. nov.

Paragomphus dispar Dijkstra, Mézière & Papazian   ZBK sp. nov. – Amazing Hooktail

(Type Photo 40, Photos 2, 6, 53, Fig. 24)


An extremely distinctive species that only recalls P. a u r e a t u s Pinhey, 1971 and especially P. maynei (Schouteden, 1934) , which are both known solely from their holotypes from Gabon and Congo-Kinshasa respectively. Only the latter in MRAC could be examined and is unique by the wholly dark thorax marked only with a pair of short green postdorsal stripes.

Material studied

Holotype ♂. RMNH.INS. 554489 , Gabon, Haut-Ogooué Province, righthand road before “Africa No 1 ” radio station in the direction of Franceville, Moyabi, small gravelly and sandy forest stream bordered by swamp and springs, 474 m a.s.l. (1.6877 ° S 13.3113 ° E), 10 -xi- 2012, leg. N. Mézière, RMNH View Materials GoogleMaps .

Further material. GABON (Haut-Ogooué Province): 5 ♂ ( RMNH.INS. 554500 , RMNH.INS. 554505 , RMNH.INS. 554506 , RMNH.INS. 554511 , RMNH.INS. 554533 ), 1 ♀ ( RMNH.INS. 554475 ), locality as holotype, 06– 21 - xi- 2012, leg. N. Mézière, RMNH View Materials View Materials View Materials View Materials View Materials View Materials GoogleMaps . 1 ♂ ( RMNH.INS. 508711 ), 1 ♀ ( RMNH.INS. 508712 ), same locality, 13 -i- 2013, leg. N. Mézière, RMNH. View Materials View Materials GoogleMaps 1 ♂ (RMNH.

INS. 508098), same locality, 17 -ix- 2013, leg. J. Kipping, CJKL. 1 ♀ ( RMNH.INS. 506220 ), same area, sandy and gravelly stream in forest (4 m wide, 50– 100 cm deep) with swamps, 483 m a.s.l. (0.6476 ° S 13.6800° E), 24 -iii- 2012, leg. N. Mézière, RMNH View Materials GoogleMaps .

View Materials GoogleMaps


Three unique haplotypes (n= 11) distant from all other Paragomphus sampled, although P. a u r e a t u s and P. maynei were not available.

Male morphological diagnosis

Nearest to the poorly known P. maynei by its (a) great size, Hw 27.0– 33.0mm (n = 7); (b) largely black face and occiput; (c) entirely green S 2 that contrasts with the mostly dark abdomen; (d) abrupt dorsal hump on S 10; (e) slender and tapering cerci that terminate in a saw-like ridge of about six equal teeth; and (f) epiproct that is almost half as long as the cerci ( Fig. 24). However, (1)the black labrum is darkest on the border, enclosing a greenish bar, rather than being quite uniformly brown and even a fraction paler on the border; (2) the mesepisterna are entirely yellow-green except for a thick black border along the humeral suture and a thin black line on the posterior half of the middorsal carina ( Photo 53), rather than all dark with only small isolated postdorsal stripes; (3) the sides of the thorax are black with complete broad greenish stripes on the mesepimeron and metepimeron, rather than wholly dark; (4) S 3–10 are black with only a pair of green spots on the basal fifth of S 3 and brown sides to S 8–10, rather than largely pale on the sides of S 3 and S 7, and extensively rusty on S 8–10; and (5) the cerci are more smoothly curved ( Fig. 24). The large size, dark face and bright thoracic front recall P. a u r e a t u s, but that has a pale metepisternal stripe that is of similar length and width as the mesepimeral and metepimeral stripes, pale markings on S 4–5 and S 7, a flat-topped S 10, rather straight and thick cerci with abruptly down-curved tips, and an epiproct that is well over half as long as the cerci.


Latin “different” refers to the very distinct appearance of this species (adjective).

Range and ecology

Known from one area around 480 m a.s.l. in south-eastern Gabon with clear (or somewhat turbid) sandy streams in rainforest between 1–4 m wide ( Photos 2, 6). Adults appear to spend most of their time in the canopy, only descending to sun spots around noon.


Belgium, Tervuren, Musee Royal de l'Afrique Centrale


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