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Smoky Shadowdragon

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Neurocordulia molesta

Walsh, 1863

Order Odonata
Suborder Anisoptera
Superfamily Libelluloidea
Family Corduliidae
Genus Neurocordulia
Species molesta (Walsh, 1863) [Cordulia]


This is a larger species, second only to Orange Shadowdragon (N. xanthosoma), and widely distributed in the southeast. Its face is olivaceous brown and the eyes are green. The thorax is brown in front, with only a pale yellowish middorsal carina. The thorax becomes noticeably paler laterally. The midlateral stripe is diffuse yellow to the level of the spiracle and then becomes obso lete except for a small yellowish spot. The legs are pale and the middle trochanter of the male has a conspicuous truncate process on its inner side. The wings are lightly tinted with amber and have brown spots on the antenodal crossveins and a larger spot at the nodus. The spots on the antenodal crossveins are darkest on either side of the crossveins themselves. The abdomen is brown and the caudal appendages are yellowish. The female appendages are long, approximately 2.4 mm.


Total length: 45-53 mm; abdomen: 35-38 mm; hindwing: 33-38 mm.

Similar Species

The distinctive smoky wings and green eyes of this species will distinguish it from all other species in our area.


Rivers and medium-sized streams with strong current.


This uncommon species has been reported in Texas based on a single male at the Little Brazos River in Brazos County. The biology and behavior of this species is poorly known. Males are active just before dusk and are unwary patrolling near the shore.


Eastern U.S. to Texas and Oklahoma.