Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Type: Short Communication
Published: 2020-12-21
Page range: 564–568
Abstract views: 289
PDF downloaded: 3

The sixth species of the damselfly family Burmacoenagrionidae (Odonata) endemic to the mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber

State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology and Center for Excellence in Life and Paleoenvironment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 39 East Beijing Road, Nanjing 210008, PR China
Institut de Systématique, Évolution, Biodiversité (ISYEB) Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, CNRS, Sorbonne Université, EPHE, Université des Antilles, CP50, 57 rue Cuvier 75005 Paris, France
Institut de Systématique, Évolution, Biodiversité (ISYEB) Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, CNRS, Sorbonne Université, EPHE, Université des Antilles, CP50, 57 rue Cuvier 75005 Paris, France Paris University, Life Sciences Department, 5, rue Thomas Mann, F-75013 Paris, France
Odonata Insecta Zygoptera body morphology Myanmar


Burmagrion azari sp. nov., sixth species of the small damselfly family Burmacoenagrionidae, is described and illustrated. This family is currently only recorded from the mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber and is possibly endemic to this isolated island of the Tethys Ocean at that time. The presence of slender, elongate legs with very long tarsi is a putative synapomorphy of the Burmacoenagrionidae, as present in Burmagrion and Burmacoenagrion. The type specimen of the new genus and species is dislocated together with several fragments of flies, suggesting that these fossils are possibly the result of a regurgitation by a small vertebrate passing aside the fresh resin. The female of Burmagrion azari sp. nov. was probably laying its eggs inside plant cuticles. Its ovipositor is described.


  1. Bechly, G. (1996) Morphologische Untersuchungen am Flügelgeäder der rezenten Libellen und deren Stammgruppenvertreter (Insecta; Pterygota; Odonata), unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Phylogenetischen Systematik und des Grundplanes der Odonata. Petalura, 2, 1–402.

    Bechly, G. (2016) Phylogenetic systematics of Odonata. Available at: (last accessed 26/11/2020).

    Cruickshank, R.D. & Ko, K. (2003) Geology of an amber locality in the Hukawng Valley, northern Myanmar. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 21, 441–455.

    Fabricius, J.C. (1793) Entomologia systematica emendata et aucta, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, adjectis synonymis, locis, observationibus, descriptionibus. Tom. III. C.G. Proft, Hafniae [= Copenhagen], 488 pp.

    Geijskes, D.C. (1976) The genus Oxystigma Selys, 1862 (Zygoptera: Megapodagrionidae). Odonatologica, 5, 213–230.

    Grimaldi, D. & Ross, A. (2017) Extraordinary Lagerstätten in amber, with particular reference to the Cretaceous of Burma. In: Fraser, N.C. & Sues, H.-D., (Eds). Terrestrial conservation Lagerstätten: Windows into the evolution of life on land. Dunedin Academic Press, Edinburgh, pp. 287–342.

    Jacquelin, L., Desutter-Grandcolas, L., Chintauan-Marquier, I., Boistel, R., Zheng, D.R., Prokop, J. & Nel, A. (2018) New insights on basivenal sclerites using 3D tools and homology of wing veins in Odonatoptera (Insecta). Scientific Reports, 8, 1–7.

    Kirby, W.F. (1890) A synonymic catalogue of Neuroptera Odonata, or dragonflies. With an appendix of fossil species. Gurney & Jackson, London, 202 pp.

    Machado, A.B.M. (2009) Denticulobasis and Tuberculobasis, new genera close to Leptobasis, with description of ten new species (Odonata: Coenagrionidae). Zootaxa, 2108 (1), 1–36.

    Matushkina, N.A. (2004) Comparative morphology of ovipositor in some damselflies (Odonata, Zygoptera). Vestnik Zoologii, 38, 53–66.

    Matushkina, N.A. & Gorb, S. (2007) Mechanical properties of the endophytic ovipositor in damselflies (Zygoptera, Odonata) and their oviposition substrates. Zoology, 110, 167–175.

    Matushkina, N.A. & Lambret, P.H. (2011) Ovipositor morphology and egg laying behaviour in the dragonfly Lestes macrostigma (Zygoptera: Lestidae). International Journal of Odonatology, 14, 69–82.

    Möstel, C., Schorr, M. & Bechly, G. (2017) A new stem-coenagrionoid genus of damselflies (Odonata: Zygoptera) from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber. Zootaxa, 4243 (1), 177–186.

    Nel, A., Martínez-Delclòs, X., Paicheler, J.-C. & Henrotay, M. (1993) Les ‘Anisozygoptera’ fossiles. Phylogénie et classification (Odonata). Martinia, Numéro Hors Série 3, 1–311.

    Riek, E.F. & Kukalová-Peck, J. (1984) A new interpretation of dragonfly wing venation based upon early Upper Carboniferous fossils from Argentina (Insecta: Odonatoidea) and basic character states in pterygote wings. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 62, 1150–1166.

    Ross, A.J. (2019) Burmese (Myanmar) amber checklist and bibliography 2018. Palaeoentomology, 2 (1), 22–84.

    Ross, A.J. (2020) Supplement to the Burmese (Myanmar) amber checklist and bibliography, 2019. Palaeoentomology, 3 (1), 103–118.

    St. Quentin, D. (1962) Der Eilegeapparat der Odonaten. Zeitschrift der Morphologie Ökologie der Tiere, 51, 165–189.

    Selys Longchamps, E. de (1854) Monographie des Calopterygines. Mémoires de la Société royale des Sciences de Liège, 9, xi + 291 pp.

    Shi, G.H., Grimaldi, D.A., Harlow, G.E., Wang, J., Wang, J., Yang, M.C., Lei, W.Y., Li, Q.L. & Li, X.H. (2012) Age constraint on Burmese amber based on U-Pb dating of zircons. Cretaceous Research, 37, 155–163.

    Táborský, K. (1927) Etudes systématiques et morphologiques sur l’appareil buccal des Odonata. Sborník Entomologického Oddelĕní Národního Musea v Praze, 5, 143–180.

    Vilela, D.S., Cordero-Rivera, A. & Guillermo-Ferreira, R. (2019a) The female of Heteragrion icterops Selys, 1862 (Odonata: Heteragrionidae) with comments and key on the Brazilian females of Heteragrion group B. Zootaxa, 4576 (1), 187–194.

    Vilela, D.S., Guillermo-Ferreira, R., Encalada, A.C. & Cordero-Rivera, A. (2019b) Philogenia gaiae sp. nov. (Zygoptera: Philogeniidae) and description of the female of P. macuma Dunkle, 1986, two species from the Ecuadorean lowland rainforest. Zootaxa, 4683 (3), 412–420.

    Xing, L. & Qiu, L. (2020) Zircon U-Pb age constraints on the Hkamti amber biota in northern Myanmar. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 558, 109960.

    Yu, T., Kelly, R., Mu, L., Ross, A., Kennedy, J., Broly, P., Xia, F., Zhang, H., Wang, B. & Dilcher, D. (2019) An ammonite trapped in Burmese amber. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116, 11345–11350.

    Zheng, D.R. (2020) Odonatans in lowermost Cenomanian Kachin amber: updated review and a new hemiphlebiid damselfly. Cretaceous Research, 118 (104640), 1–7.

    Zheng, D.R., Nel, A., Zhang, H.C., Chang, S.C., Jarzembowski, E.A., Zhuo, D. & Wang, B. (2019) A highly diverse coenagrionoid damselfly group (Odonata: Zygoptera: Burmacoenagrionidae fam. nov.) from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, 17, 239–253.