A phylogenetic hypothesis revealed two recent radiations among species of Enallagma damselflies, and extensive ecological work suggests that both adaptive and nonadaptive processes are involved in these radiations. We analysed the geographical pattern of genetic variability at 868 bp of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) among 283 individuals of 5 species displaying little ecological differentiation to identify the ancestral lineage, support their independent evolutionary trajectories and identify historical events and the underlying mechanism for one of these radiations. Nested clade analysis results clearly support a past event of range fragmentation in E. hageni. These Atlantic and Continental hageni races experienced distinct dispersal histories and still maintain nearly nonoverlapping ranges All four other species derive from the Continental hageni. Whereas three species endemic to the Atlantic coastal plain show little genetic variation, E. ebrium shared several haplotypes with the Continental hageni. Contrasting levels of genetic differentiation between E. hageni and E. ebrium in geographical areas associated with distinct events of E. hageni's recent history support the recent origin of this species. Altogether, our results are compatible with a process of radiation via divergence in mate recognition systems within the Continental hageni race following secondary contacts between putative refugial races.