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Broad-striped Forceptail

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Aphylla angustifolia

Garrison, 1986

Order Odonata
Suborder Anisoptera
Superfamily Gomphioidea
Family Gomphidae
Genus Aphylla
Species angustifolia Garrison, 1986 [Aphylla]


This species has three pale greenish-yellow lateral stripes on the thorax. The middle stripe is generally narrower than the other two. The middorsal stripes are triangular. The abdomen is long, slender and brown marked with yellowish stripes. There is a wide lateral flange on segment 8 that is more evident in males than females. The apical mesal margin of the male cercus forms a ridge overlapping the appendage dorsally. The posterior margin of segment 10 is narrowly emarginate.


Total length: 62-68 mm; abdomen: 47-50 mm; hindwing: 36-40 mm.

Similar Species

Narrow-Striped Forceptail (A. protracta ) is similar, but with all three pale lateral thoracic stripes the same width and the flange on segment 8 wider. Two-Striped Forceptail (A. williamsoni ) has only two pale lateral thoracic stripes and the pale humeral stripe is either lacking or only faintly visible. Leaftails (Phyllogmphoides ) have their abdomen distinctly ringed and a broader club.


Lakes, ponds and pools of intermittent streams with muddy bottoms.


Confusion between this species and the closely related Narrow-Striped Forceptail was clarified with its description by Garrison (1986). He discussed the taxonomic history of this species and gave characters to distinguish the two species. The key above is based, in part, on Garrison's work. The description given in Needham and Westfall (1955 ) for Narrow-Striped Forceptail was actually of Broad-Striped Forceptail. These two species occur together at several known localities including Falcon Dam and the World Birding Center in the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Broad-Striped Forceptail is generally much more common in the south-central United States than Narrow-Striped Forceptail. Early records of the latter should be suspect until they can be verified.


Coastal plain of Texas to Mississippi south through Mexico to Belize and Guatemala.