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Brimstone Clubtail



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Stylurus intricatus

Selys, 1858


Order Odonata
Suborder Anisoptera
Superfamily Gomphioidea
Family Gomphidae
Genus Stylurus
Species intricatus (Selys, 1858) [Gomphus]


Identification

This is the only western hanging clubtail in the region. The face is pale yellow-green with little dark maculation on the head. The thorax is pale green with a dark brown middorsal stripe interrupted medially by a pale carina. The narrow antehumeral stripe becomes exceedingly pale at its lower end. The remaining lateral str ipes are obsolete or nearly so. The femora are yellow except distally where they become darker running into black tibiae and tarsi. The abdomen is yellow-green with brown triangular lateral spots confluent dorsally. The caudal appendages are yellow edged with black in the male.

Size

Total length: 41-55 mm; abdomen: 32-43 mm; hindwing: 26-32 mm.

Similar Species

Russet-tipped Clubtail (S. plagiatus ) is larger and gray-green rather than yellow-green and well-marked on the thorax and abdomen. Eastern Ringtail (Erpetogomphus designatus ) is bright green and Flag-tailed Spinyleg (Dromogomphus spoliatus ) has much longer legs and a rusty-brown club.

Habitat

Slow flowing, open, desert streams and rivers.

Discussion

Kennedy (1917 ) described the behavior of this desert species, that "...spends much of its time seated on some bush or piece of driftwood, rarely alighting on the ground. However, when it is on the wing it is energetic, and the males fly rapidly back and forth in short beats, about 6 inches above the surface of the water. The females oviposit while flying in the same quick, nervous manner...In copulation the male picks the female up either from over the water or from some bush, and after a very short nuptial flight settles for a very long period in copulation." This species was reported from Arkansas, but it was later determined the record was based on misidentified material.

Distribution

Western U.S., Canada and Central Great Plains