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Chlorolestes tessellatus 2012 04 29 KZN Midlands.jpg
Chlorolestes tessellatus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Odonata
Suborder: Zygoptera
Family: Synlestidae
Tillyard, 1917

The Synlestidae are a family of damselflies commonly known as sylphs or malachites. They occur in South Africa, Australia, and South America.


These damselflies are 21 to 36 millimeters long, with slender abdomens. Species are generally metallic green to brown-tinged black in color.


Damselflies of this family are predators. The nymphs live in rivers and streams, and can be found in stagnant pools during the dry season.


There are eight extant genera. There are also several extinct genera known from fossils.

Genera include:

  • Chlorolestes Selys, 1862
  • Ecchlorolestes Barnard, 1937
  • Episynlestes Kennedy, 1920
  • Megalestes Selys, 1862
  • Phylolestes Christiansen, 1947
  • Sinolestes Needham, 1930
  • Synlestes Selys, 1868
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