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Narrow-striped Forceptail

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Aphylla protracta

Selys, 1859

Order Odonata
Suborder Anisoptera
Superfamily Gomphioidea
Family Gomphidae
Genus Aphylla
Species protracta (Selys, 1859) [Cyclophylla]


This Mexican species is less common in the area than Broad-Striped Forceptail (A. angustifolia). It has a greenish-yellow face and a thorax pattern similar to the Broad-Striped Forceptail only the three pale lateral thoracic stripes are all equally narrow. The abdomen is long with pale markings less extensive than in the Broad-Striped Forceptail. Segment 10 of males is deeply notched dorsally. The male cerci lack an overlapping ridge on their mesal margin dorsoapically.


Total length: 64-66 mm; abdomen: 42-50 mm: hindwing: 35-49 mm.

Similar Species

Narrow-Striped Forceptail is similar to both Broad-Striped and Two-Striped Forceptail (A. williamsoni). See the account for separating these species under the description of Broad-Striped Forceptail.


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


This species has long been referred to in the literature as Aphylla ambigua (Selys). Little is known about the biology or behavior of this species, but males perch near water on sticks facing away and do not make regular patrols.


Central and south Texas through Mexico and Central America to Costa Rica.