Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum


Photo credit: Tang Hung Bun


This family includes our largest dragonflies. They have large eyes and long, slender abdomens. The abdomen of the males is usually swollen at the base and often constricted at the third segment. The superior anal appendages are fairly long and their shape is important in the identification of species. Most aeshnids are black, striped and spotted with blue and green. The eyes are blue, green or brown and meet broadly along the top of the head. At rest, they adopt a vertical position, hanging from a twig or the bark of a tree.

A total of some 450 species (in some 50 genera) are known worldwide. In Peninsular Malaysia, 22 species are known. Ten species have so far been found in Singapore, two of which have not yet been found in Peninsular Malaysia.

It should be noted that while the family name is spelled Aeshnidae, without a ‘c’, in the genera, for example Heliaeschna, the root –aeschna is spelled with a ‘c’.

Read more about the Odonata order.
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