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Laura's Clubtail



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Stylurus laurae

Williamson, 1932


Order Odonata
Suborder Anisoptera
Superfamily Gomphioidea
Family Gomphidae
Genus Stylurus
Species laurae Williamson, 1932 [Stylurus]


Identification

This is the least common of the three eastern hanging clubtail species in the region. The head is greenish-yellow with a distinct black cross stripe on the face. The dark middorsal thoracic stripe widens anteriorly isolating a pale, smoothly rounded, stripe, that is nearly but not confluent with the pale collar. The antehumeral and humeral stripes are separated by a thin, often interrupted, pale line between them. The rest of the thorax is yellowish green with the re maining lateral stripes present and complete, although the midlateral stripe may be lacking at its lower end. The legs are pale basally becoming black distally. There is a nearly complete yellow middorsal stripe on abdominal segments 1-7.

Size

Total length: 61-65 mm; abdomen: 42-48 mm; hindwing: 36-43 mm.

Similar Species

Russet-tipped Clubtail (S. plagiatus ) lacks black on the terminal abdominal segments. Arrow Clubtail (S. spiniceps ) has wider black lateral thoracic stripes and Brimstone Clubtail (S. intricatus ) is not found in the eastern portion of our area.

Habitat

Shallow, well shaded, rivers and streams with cobble, sand or mud substrate.

Discussion

Williamson (1932a ) said that this species "almost invariably rested on leaves, 1-10 feet above the water. Two alighted on logs projecting from the water, but remained there only a few seconds. On leaves they were not wary and were easily approached and captured." This species was only known in Texas from larval collections taken in the Sam Houston National Forest, until a single adult female was photographed at Big Creek Scenic Area in June of 1998. It is undoubtedly more common, but its secretive nature results in few adult sightings.

Distribution

Eastern U.S.