midland clubtail

(Gomphurus fraternus)

Conservation Status
midland clubtail
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Midland clubtail 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.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

2 to 2

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

Plains clubtail (Gomphurus 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.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

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

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Early June to late July

 
     
 

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.

 
     
 

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.

 
     
 

Nymph Food

 
 

 

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Flying insects, including other dragonflies.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

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

 
  10/6/2015      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Uncommon

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)  
 

Suborder

Epiprocta  
  Infraorder Anisoptera (dragonflies)  
 

Superfamily

Aeshnoidea  
 

Family

Gomphidae (clubtails)  
 

Genus

Gomphus  
  Subgenus Gomphurus  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

midland clubtail (Gomphurus fraternus fraternus)

midland clubtail (Gomphurus 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 other insects, a thickened, dark, or opaque cell on the leading edge of the wing.

 

Tibia

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

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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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  
           
 
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    midland clubtail   midland clubtail  
           
    midland clubtail      
           

 

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slideshow

       
 
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Other Videos
 
  Gomphurus 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

 
 
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  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  
           
 
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