horned clubtail

(Arigomphus cornutus)

Conservation Status
horned clubtail
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

     
  NatureServe

N4 - Apparently Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Horned clubtail is an early season, medium-sized, 23 16 long, pond clubtail. It is the most common pond clubtail (genus Arigomphus) in Minnesota. It is found throughout the state except in the southwest corner.

The thorax is yellowish-green or greenish-yellow with black stripes: two shoulder stripes on each side, the upper stripe thick, the lower stripe thinner; and a thin top stripe on each side that wraps around and connects to the thinner shoulder stripe.

The abdomen is slender and black with yellow markings. Unlike most clubtails, the abdomen has no club. The upper (dorsal) surface or abdominal segments 1 through 8 have yellow, elongated, triangular spots. Segment 9 is unmarked. Segment 10 is mostly yellow on top. All segments have a yellow lower margin. On segments 8 and 9, these are sometimes rusty red. On the male, segment 10 is wider than segment 9, a characteristic not seen on any other clubtail. At the tip of segment 10 the male has a pair of distinctive, widely forked claspers. The claspers are yellowish with black tips and resemble bulls horns in shape. Unlike other clubtails, the female has an ovipositor. It is spout-like and about to ½ as long as the ninth abdominal segment.

The head is small. The face is yellow. The large compound eyes are blue and do not meet at the top of the head. The area behind the compound eyes at the top of the head (occiput) on both sexes is high, convex, and plate-like. On the female it is yellow, very high, convex, and cleft in the middle. It is the most conspicuous occiput of any clubtail. The female also has a pair of tiny, black, horn-like protuberances between the compound eyes. This is the only pond clubtail (genus Arigomphus), but not the only clubtail (family Gomphidae), with these “horns”. It is the feature that gives this species its common name.

The legs are black. The third and largest segment (femur) of the hind leg on the female is mostly yellow.

The wings are clear except for a dark cell (stigma) on the leading edge near the tip. The vein on the leading edge of the forewing (costa) is yellow in front but may appear black from above or behind. 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.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: 23 16

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Small marshy lakes, muddy ponds, slow streams

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Late May to late July

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

 

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

Breeding takes place in still waters. After mating the females deposits eggs by flying close to the water surface and tapping the tip of her abdomen into water. After the eggs hatch the young (naiads) live in submerged vegetation. When they mature they crawl onto a lily pad or partly out of the water on a vegetative stem to emerge as adults.

 
     
 

Nymph Food

 
 

 

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

17, 18, 24, 27, 29, 30.

 
  7/8/2018      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Fairly common, locally common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)  
 

Suborder

Epiprocta  
  Infraorder Anisoptera (dragonflies)  
 

Superfamily

Aeshnoidea  
 

Family

Gomphidae (clubtails)  
 

Genus

Arigomphus  
       
 

This species was formerly classified as Gomphus cornutus, placed in the subgenus Arigomphus under the genus Gomphus. That genus was recently split and the former subgenera are now the new genera.

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Gomphus cornutus

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

horned clubtail

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Costa

On plants: The central axis of a pinna, to which pinnules are attached. On insects: The vein on the leading edge of the forewing.

 

Femur

On insects and arachnids, the third, largest, most robust segment of the leg, coming immediately before the tibia. On humans, the thigh bone.

 

Naiad

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

 

Occiput

The back of the head. In Odonata, Megaloptera, and Neuroptera, 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 other insects, a thickened, dark, or opaque cell on the leading edge of the wing.

 

 

 

 

 

       
Visitor Photos
   

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Alfredo Colon
       
  horned clubtail    
       
Dan W. Andree
       

Horned Clubtail Dragonfly...

Came across this interesting dragonfly at a pond in Norman County June 2018. Colorful eyes on this Horned Clubtail (Gomphidae) Dragonfly.

  horned clubtail    
       
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Slideshows
   
  Arigomphus cornutus - Horned Clubtail
Nate Kohler
 
  Arigomphus cornutus - Horned Clubtail  
 
About

Differing from other clubtail species, this one has no "club" at all, but the males do sport some spectacularly forked appendages. And unlike the other Gomphid species found in Montana, which prefer streams, this one is more likely to be found around lakes and ponds.

The known range of this clubtail in Montana is, at present, the southeast portion of the state. Adults can be seen from early-June through early-August.

 
     
  Horned Clubtail
Ryan Rasmussen
 
  Horned Clubtail  

 

slideshow

       
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Other Videos
 
  Horned Clubtail feeding
Doug Selzer
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 14, 2016

A Horned Clubtail dragonfly feeding on a bee.

   
       
  Voila!
Scott King
 
   
 
About

Published on May 18, 2012

Horned Clubtail (Arigomphus cornutus) during emergence. May 18, 2012, at River Bend Nature Center in Faribault, Minnesota.

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   

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Alfredo Colon
7/31/2018

Location: Woodbury, MN

horned clubtail


Dan W. Andree
June 2018

Location: Norman County

Came across this interesting dragonfly at a pond in Norman County June 2018. Colorful eyes on this Horned Clubtail (Gomphidae) Dragonfly.

horned clubtail


     
     
 
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