midland clubtail

(Gomphus fraternus)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

midland clubtail

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Uncommon

Flight/Season

Early June to late July

Habitat

Moderately to fast flowing rivers and large streams, large lakes with emergent vegetation.

Size

2 to 2

 

Identification

This is an early season, medium-sized clubtail.

The thorax is large and yellow with black markings including two lateral thoracic stripes. The first (anterior) stripe is incomplete or interrupted. The second (posterior) is variable or absent.

The abdomen is slender and black with yellow markings. The upper (dorsal) surface or abdominal segments 1 through 7 have narrow, elongated, lance-shaped spots. Segment 8 has a small yellow triangle. Segments 9 and 10 are expanded into a “club” that is only slightly narrower than the thorax. They have no dorsal markings but have large yellow spots on the sides.

The color of this dragonfly varies with the temperature. In warm temperatures the light areas on the thorax and abdomen are yellow. In cool temperatures these areas are grayish-green. The markings on the side of expanded abdominal segments 8 and 9 are always yellow.

The head is small. The face lacks the black horizontal stripe found on many other species of dragonflies. The large compound eyes do not meet at the top of the head. They are gray in warm temperatures, aqua blue in cool temperatures.

The legs are black. The fourth segment of the hind leg of the female often has a pale lateral stripe.

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.

 
Similar
Species

Plains clubtail (Gomphus externus) has a large yellow dorsal spot on abdominal segment 9.

Splendid clubtail (Gomphus lineatifrons) is larger. It has a black horizontal face stripe and usually no dorsal spot on abdominal segment 8.


Larval Food

 

 
Adult Food

Flying insects, including other dragonflies.

 
Life Cycle

The female does not have an ovipositor. She lays eggs by washing them off in fast-flowing water in streams or rivers, or in waves on lakes.

 
Behavior

The adult perches on the ground or a rock on a bank or shoreline. It is a very strong flier and often patrols open water far from land.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 7, 17, 18, 24, 27, 29.


Comments

 


Taxonomy

Order:

Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)

 

Suborder:

Epiprocta

 

Infraorder:

Anisoptera (dragonflies)

 

Superfamily:

Aeshnoidea

 

Family:

Gomphidae (clubtails)

 

Genus:

Gomphus

 

Subgenus:

Gomphurus

 
Subordinate Taxa

midland clubtail (Gomphus fraternus fraternus)

midland clubtail (Gomphus fraternus manitobanus)

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

midland clubtail


 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

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.

 

Tibia

The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot).

 

 

 

 

 

       

Visitor Photos

   
Share your photo of this insect.

Krisha Saxon


I Came Upon thousands of clubtails emerging there nymph exoskeletons as dragonflies and drying their wings. By afternoon all of the dragonflies were gone.

  midland clubtail   midland clubtail

       
       
       

MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   
  midland clubtail   midland clubtail
       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
     
     
     

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
Share your video of this insect.

     
     

Other Videos

 
  Gomphus fraternus 15-06-2014
Caroline Piché
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 16, 2014

 
     
  Dragonfly Safari 4. The Cannibal Clubtails!
MrOtterdude
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jun 19, 2011

In Dragonfly Safari 4, we take a first look at the Midland Clubtail. Strong fliers, they can take down large bugs, including each other! You will witness an act of cannibalism as a Midland Clubtail ambushes another in the grass.

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
Share your sighting of this insect.

Krisha Saxon
5/26/2016

Location: Mississippi River Bank, North Minneapolis

I Came Upon thousands of clubtails emerging there nymph exoskeletons as dragonflies and drying their wings. By afternoon all of the dragonflies were gone.

midland clubtail


     
     
 

MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings

   


 

 

Binoculars

Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2018 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.