Six populations of the Enallagma cyathigerum complex from North Africa, Europe and West and Central Asia were examined, mainly using DNA analysis and scanning electron microscopy. The taxa deserti and risi are geographic ssp. to E. cyathigerum: although 3 3 can unequivocally be identified from their superior anal appendages, their 18 S rDNA and intergenic spacers ITS 1 and 2 are identical. Moreover, morphological intermediates have become known between deserti and cyathigerum, and between risi and cyathigerum. The habitat choice (predatory fish tolerated but with difficulty) and salinity tolerance of all 3 are similar as well. It is concluded that they share a common origin, and only recently started to diverge.