Epitheca spinosa Hagen in Selys, 1878
NatureServe Global Rank: G4
Virginia State Rank: S3
VA DGIF Tier: IV
Federal Legal Status: None
Virginia Legal Status: None
Description: The Robust Baskettail is a small to medium-sized brown dragonfly with yellow markings along the side of the abdomen. The thorax is brown and rather hairy. The abdomen is exceptionally broad. Its wings are clear except for a small dark spot at the base. It ranges in size from 42-47 mm (1.7 - 1.9 inches).
Similar species: The Robust Baskettail is very similar to several other species of baskettail (Epitheca sp.) in Virginia, but can be distinguished by its very stout abdomen and small basal wingspots. Male terminal appendages are angled downward, with an upward spine near the end.
North American Range: The Robust Baskettail is primarily found the coastal mid-Atlantic from New Jersey to North Carolina, plus widely scattered populations west to Texas and Oklahoma. There are records from seven counties in eastern Virginia.
VA Observations by Locality: Halifax | Isle of Wight | Southampton | Suffolk, City of | Caroline | Isle of Wight | King and Queen | Middlesex | Southampton | Surry | Sussex
Flight season and broods: The Robust Baskettail flies from 30 March through 1 May in Virginia.
Aquatic Habitat: The Robust Baskettail is found in lakes and ponds.
Behavior and Ecology: Most baskettails fly early in the season and are gone by early summer.
Population trend and potential threats: "Seemingly rare in most parts of range." (Paulson, 2011).
Management practices: Monitor and protect occupied habitats.
References: Carle, F.L., 1982. A contribution to the knowledge of the Odonata. Ph.D. thesis, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia. 1,095 pp.
NatureServe. 2011. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://www.natureserve.org/explorer (Accessed: March 16, 2012).
Paulson, Dennis. 2011. Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East. Princeton University Press. Princeton and Oxford. 538 pp.
Roble, Steven M. 2011. Dragonflies of Virginia- Flight dates. Unpub.
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, 600 E. Main St., 24th Floor, Richmond, VA 23219
This atlas was compiled
by the VA Natural Heritage Program with funds provided by the VA Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries through a state wildlife grant
from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Last Modified: Tuesday, 24 January 2017, 10:12:03 PM