green-faced clubtail

(Gomphus viridifrons)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

green-faced clubtail

NatureServe

N3 - Vulnerable

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Uncommon

Flight/Season

Mid-may to mid-July

Habitat

Rapid medium streams and rivers with gravel, silt, sand, and rocks

Size

Total Length: 1¾

 

Identification

This is an early season, medium-sized clubtail. While it is more common in the northeast than in Minnesota, it is uncommon and considered rare over most of its range.

The upper (dorsal) side of the thorax is pale grayish-green on top with black markings including a broad central (middorsal) stripe, two lateral stripes, and a shoulder stripe. The side of the thorax is grayish-green with an incomplete first (anterior) stripe that arches around to join the shoulder stripe. There is no middle stripe found on most other clubtails.

The abdomen is slender and black with yellow markings. Abdominal segments 1 through 7 have small yellow dorsal spots and larger yellow lateral spots. On the male the dorsal spots are tiny. On the female they are larger but still small. Segments 8 through 10 are unmarked on top. Segment 9 is shorter than segment 8. Segments 8, 9, and 10 are expanded into a noticeable “club”.

The head is small. The large compound eyes are green. They do not meet at the top of the head. The area behind the compound eyes at the top of the head (occiput) is slightly convex. The face is grayish-green with a single horizontal stripe on the lower part of the face above the upper lip (labrum) that is divided in the middle horizontally.

The legs are black.

The wings are clear except for dark stigmas. The wing triangle, a section of intersecting veins about 20% of the way from the base to the wingtip, is about the same size in the forewing and the hindwing.

The female is similar but may have yellowish markings, especially on the face.

 
Similar
Species

Mustached clubtail (Gomphus adelphus) has two black horizontal lines on the face and an inverted black triangle dividing the labrum. The lower line is not divided in the middle.


Larval Food

 

 
Adult Food

 

 
Life Cycle

The female does not have an ovipositor. She lays her eggs by washing them off in fast-flowing water. The eggs flow into slow water where the young (naiads) develop.

 
Behavior

Males are most active in late afternoon, especially under cloud cover.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 7, 17, 18, 29, 72.


Comments

 


Taxonomy

Order:

Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)

 

Suborder:

Epiprocta

 

Infraorder:

Anisoptera (dragonflies)

 

Superfamily:

Aeshnoidea

 

Family:

Gomphidae (clubtails)

 

Genus:

Gomphus

 

Subgenus:

Gomphus (Hylogomphus) (common clubtails)

 
Synonyms

Hylogomphus viridifrons

 
Common
Names

green-faced clubtail


 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Labrum

The upper part of the mouth, sometimes considered the lower part of the face, corresponding to the upper lip, on an insect or crustacean.

 

Naiad

The aquatic larval form (nymph) of a dragonfly, mayfly, or stonefly.

 

Occiput

The back of the head. In Odonata, the upper part of the head behind the eyes.

 

Stigma

In plants, the portion of the female part of the flower that is receptive to pollen. In Lepidoptera, an area of specialized scent scales on the forewing of some skippers, hairstreaks, and moths. In Odonata, a thickened, dark or opaque cell near the tip of the wing on the leading edge.

 

 

 

 

 

       

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