Afrotropical species of Axinota van der Wulp, a genus exhibiting extreme curvature of the upper thorax (hunchbacked), are reviewed. This genus currently comprises eight described species, two new species in the Oriental Region and one published record from Madagascar. One new and one previously described species are shown to be widespread in continental sub-Saharan Africa. The two syntypes of Diastata fuscipennis Macquart, 1844, were examined and a lectotype and paralectotype are designated. The species is formally transferred to the genus Axinota (Axinota fuscipennis (Macquart, 1844), comb, n.), and a second, closely-related new species, A. quasimodoi Kirk-Spriggs, sp. n., is described and figured. Together these two species comprise a fuscipennis species-group, being distinct from species of presumed Oriental origin (pictiventris species-group). Two further new species are described and illustrated: A. ahdabi Kirk-Spriggs, sp. n., from the highlands of Yemen, and A. kyphosis Kirk-Spriggs, sp. n. from Madagascar. An identification key is provided for the two species-groups and for species occurring in the Afrotropical Region and an annotated checklist of world species of Axinota is provided as an Appendix. Distribution maps are included for the four species, with a list of decimal coordinates used to plot these as Appendix II. Likely means of dispersal and species radiation of Axinota in the Afrotropical Region are discussed.