Ophiogomphus aspersus Morse, 1895
NatureServe Global Rank: G4
Virginia State Rank: S2
VA DGIF Tier: III
Federal Legal Status: None
Virginia Legal Status: None
Description: The Brook Snaketail is a small clubtail with a largely green thorax, and a black abdomen with narrow pointed yellow lines on all segments, becoming blunt on the last two segments. It also has yellow marks laterally on all segments. The size range is 44-49 mm (1.8 - 2 .0 inches).
Similar species: The Brook Snaketail is very similar to several other closely related species such as the Riffle Snaketail (O. carolus) and Maine Snaketail (O. mainensis). See illustrations in Paulson (2011) p. 310 or Nikula et al. (2003) p. 91. The common and widespread Eastern Pondhawk has a green thorax, but never occurs in the fast-flowing streams inhabited by snaketails, and its abdomen does not have narrow yellow markings.
North American Range: It is a northern species with a disjunct population in the southern Appalachians. Records in Virginia are from the New River.
VA Observations by Locality: Carroll | Grayson | Floyd
Flight season and broods: Adults activity has been recorded from 30 April - 5 June in Virginia.
Aquatic Habitat: The Brook Snaketail lives in and around fast-flowing streams and rivers.
Behavior and Ecology: The Brook Snaketail seems to be quite active foraging during the morning hours and again in the late evening. They prefer perching near riffles or sandbars and rocks, but will perch in vegetation as well.
Population trend and potential threats: The southern population is very rare and may be extirpated in Kentucky (NatureServe, 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: Jan. 8, 2013).
Nikula, Blair, J. L. Loose, and M. R. Burne. 2003. A field guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Massachusetts. MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Westborough, Mass. 197 pp.
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