The recently proposed odonatan ‘suborder’ Cephalozygoptera: fact or fiction - MNHN - Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle Access content directly
Journal Articles Palaeoentomology Year : 2021

The recently proposed odonatan ‘suborder’ Cephalozygoptera: fact or fiction

André Nel
Daran Zheng


The new ‘suborder’ Cephalozygoptera was recently proposed for three fossil families of damselfly-like Odonata, on the basis of three characters of the head. Here we show, thanks to counter-examples of the presence of these characters in compression fossils of genuine Zygoptera, that these ‘characters’ do not exist in reality but are due to deformations and compression of the heads, a very frequent phenomenon in the fossil record of the whole superorder Odonatoptera. Furthermore, these alleged characters would have to have been regarded as symplesiomorphies, insufficient to support a new clade. Consequently, we consider the Cephalozygoptera as unfounded, to be rejected in the current state of knowledge. A new phylogenetic analysis of the whole clade Panodonata would be welcome. We also discuss the position of some previously described fossils: the Paleocene genus Valerea is restored in the Epallagidae (Euphaeidae), and the two Burmese amber genera Electrodysagrion and Palaeodysagrion are restored in the family Dysagrionidae.
No file

Dates and versions

mnhn-04019980 , version 1 (08-03-2023)



André Nel, Daran Zheng. The recently proposed odonatan ‘suborder’ Cephalozygoptera: fact or fiction. Palaeoentomology, 2021, 4 (2), pp.165-170. ⟨10.11646/palaeoentomology.4.2.5⟩. ⟨mnhn-04019980⟩
8 View
0 Download



Gmail Facebook X LinkedIn More