The highlands and escarpment of Angola as an endemism hotspot for African dragonflies and damselflies (Insecta: Odonata)


  • J Kipping BioCart Ökologische Gutachten, Leipzig, Germany
  • V Clausnitzer Senckenberg Museum für Naturkunde Görlitz, Görlitz, Germany
  • K-DB Dijkstra Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden, The Netherlands


Angola, endemism hotspot, escarpments, highlands, Namibia, Odonata


The plateaus and escarpments of Angola are a major centre of Odonata endemism in Africa, rivalling and possibly surpassing the highlands of Ethiopia and South Africa. We discuss 34 likely endemic species and 8 near-endemics found in Angola’s highland area. Remarkably, 20 of these endemics and near-endemics do not occur either along the western escarpment or on the high central plateau, but on the lower sandy plateaus farther east. Despite the western scarp having traditionally received much scientific attention, the first odonatological discoveries were made there only recently. Of the 42 species of interest discussed here, the taxonomy of 21 of them has yet to be fully resolved. Furthermore, many regions, particularly in northeastern Angola, are still to be explored.