Project(s) of GTI scholarship holder ROJAS Nancy

Systematic study of the genus Polythore Calvert, 1907 (Odonata: Polythoridae)

Grantee: ROJAS Nancy

Internship details

  • Years

    2010 and 2012

  • Training location

    Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

  • Belgian supervisor

    Constant Jérôme and Dr. Grootaert Patrick

  • Studied organism (classification)

    Animalia – Arthropoda – Insecta – Odonata – Polythoridae – Polythore

  • Reports

Polythore is a genus of damselflies from the Neotropical rainforest family Polythoridae that includes 19 species, six of which are present in Colombia. Color pattern of the wings, mostly showing a unique pattern for each species, is essential in the taxonomy of the genus. However, females exhibit polychromatic forms with androchromes (colored like the conspecific male) and gynochromes (different from the male coloration) forms. This and other characters showing intraspecific variability make it difficult to identify some species accurately. In addition, no phylogenetic analysis of the taxa has been conducted.

For these reasons this project proposes a systematic study of species of Polythore where the status of the genus and its species will be studied. Emphasis will be on the female where the diagnostic value of the currently used female characters will be evaluated and the potential taxonomic value of other morphological characters will be assessed. The project will generate a revision that includes: a detailed evaluation of the taxonomic characters used in the group, a key with illustrations for adults, and a phylogenetic analysis of the species of the genus.

This project wants to answer the following questions:

  1. What is the taxonomic value of (female) characters traditionally used to identify the species of the genus?
  2. Are there unique (female) characters that diagnose each species of Polythore?
  3. Is there polychromatism in the females or is their wing colour variation continuous?
  4. Is the genus Polythore monophyletic?
  5. What are the phylogenetic relationships between the species of the genus?
  6. Which is the phylogenetic value of the female characters?
  7. What species of Polythore are found in Colombia?


Ms. Rojas-Riaño successfully defended her Master thesis in 2011, at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia: “Sistemática del género polythore Calvert, 1917 (Odonata: polythoridae)”.

Additional documentation

Scientific papers