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FIGURE 1. Wing venation of Anisoptera (after Bechly et al., 2001) (details for the abbreviations in Appendix 1).


FIGURE 2. Wing venation of Liassophlebia sp., specimen TUClP In 192, from the Liassic alpha of Pechgraben in Germany (Bechly, 1999) (Scale equals 10 mm)


FIGURE 3. A cladogram of Odonata (adapted from Carle et al., 2015) showing the phylogenetic relationships among Anisopteran families. The species highlighted in blue are the crown group fossils discussed in this manuscript. Node numbers are listed in the order in which they are discussed in the manuscript. Node ages indicate the minimum age of the crown fossil used. The question mark indicates weak support for the node Petaluridae + Gomphidae (see Carle et al., 2015 for more details). Extinct species are indicated by a dagger. Note: nodes 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 are drawn for simplicity, but these fossil taxa may be nested deep within the family to which they are assigned. The fossils shown in the tree are not sister to the rest of the members of the family.


The following table shows the Odonata venational terminology and abbreviation that are used in this manuscript. This manuscript follows the Riek and Kukalová-Peck (1984) terminology scheme.

Costa C
Subcosta ScP
Radius anterior RA
Radius posterior, first branch RP1
Radius posterior, second branch RP2
Radius posterior, third branch RP3+4
Intercalar vein 1 IR1
Intercalar vein 2 IR2
Media anterior MA
Media posterior MP
Cubitus anterior CuA
Anal anterior and posterior AA/AP

author1Manpreet Kaur Kohli. Rutgers University, 195 University Ave, Newark, NJ 07102, USA.

Manpreet Kohli is pursuing her PhD at Rutgers University. She is interested in studying different aspects of insect evolution. In here current research she is exploring biogeographic history of dragonflies. She also works on how fossil choice, fossil placement and missing data affects the results of divergence time analysis.


author2Jessica L. Ware. Rutgers University, 195 University Ave, Newark, NJ 07102, USA.

Dr. Jessica Ware is an evolutionary biologist. In her past and current research, she has focused on four main areas: systematics, behaviour, biodiversity and biogeography.
Using molecular and morphological techniques she has used modern phylogenetic analyses to evaluate species, test family monophyly, assess biogeographical distributions in light of divergence time estimates and improve conservation efforts.

She is secretary of the World Dragonfly Association, Dragonfly Society of the Americas, and the current president of the SysEB section of the Entomological Society of America.


author3Günter Bechly. Department of Paleontology, State Museum of Natural History, Rosenstein 1, 70191 Stuttgart, Germany. (corresponding author)

Günter Bechly is a palaeoentomologist. His main focus is on the evolution, phylogeny, and fossil history of odonates and other basal pterygotes, and fossil insects from the Upper Jurassic Solnhofen Plattenkalk of Germany and the Lower Cretaceous Crato Formation of Brazil, as well as diverse amber inclusions. Bechly studied biology at the University of Hohenheim and zoology, parasitology and paleontology at the University of Tübingen. In 1999 he finished his PhD thesis on the fossil history and phylogeny of dragonflies and damselflies. So far he has described about 167 new species and numerous higher taxa, including a phylogenetic re-classification of dragonflies and damselflies. 



How to date a dragonfly: Fossil calibrations for odonates

Manpreet Kaur Kohli, Jessica L. Ware, and Günter Bechly

Plain Language Abstract

This manuscript provides a list of fossils that can be used to date 10 crown odonate groups. These fossils can be used in recovering time-calibrated phylogenies for dragonflies.

Resumen en Español


Traducción: Enrique Peñalver or Diana Elizabeth Fernández

Résumé en Français


Translator: Kenny J. Travouillon or Antoine Souron

Deutsche Zusammenfassung

In progress

Translator: Eva Gebauer


in progress

Translator: Ashraf M.T. Elewa


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