Ophiogomphus incurvatus alleghaniensis Carle, 1982
NatureServe Global Rank: G3T2T3
Virginia State Rank: S1
VA DGIF Tier: III
Federal Legal Status: None
Virginia Legal Status: None
Description: The body length is about 2.0 inches. The head consists of a green face and blue eyes and the thorax is black with wide green markings. The abdomen is black with yellow markings (wider in females) on top that become smaller towards the posterior end, and white markings on the sides that grade into yellow towards the posterior end. On the legs, the femora are black-tipped tan and the tibiae are black with paler markings on the outside.
Similar species: Edmund's Snaketail (Ophiogomphus edmundo) is very similar but is more boldly marked, has black or mostly dark femora, and the abdominal segment S9 is black as opposed to mostly yellow in the Alleghany Snaketail. The Edmund's Snaketail has not been recorded in Virginia but should not be immediately discounted. The Brook Snaketail (O. aspersus)and Maine Snaketail (O. mainensis) are also similar to the but with green eyes and dark femora. The Riffle Snaketail (O. carolus, especially females) is also similar but has black legs and occurs at higher elevations, not in the same habitat. The subspecies, the Appalachian Snaketail (O. i. incurvatus), is very similar but is smaller and has different male appendages and the females have smaller, wider-spaced occipital crests. There is still confusion in the relationship of these subspecies.
North American Range: The Alleghany Snaketail occurs in the Appalachian mountains, in two separate main populations occurring in southern West Virginia and southwestern Virginia through the northeastern Georgia and western South Carolina, and central Alabama and west central Georgia.
VA Observations by Locality: Augusta | Giles | Floyd
Flight season and broods: Found from April through June.
Aquatic Habitat: The Alleghany Snaketail is found in small or medium spring-fed streams with mud/gravel bottom. In West Virginia it is found in larger clean streams and rivers.
Behavior and Ecology: Alleghany Snaketails are found more easily in the early morning and late afternoon, perching on leaves that overhang these streams (especially near riffles) or in nearby sunny clearings, also on gravel bars in the riffle section of the streams. They are also active mid-day unless it is too hot, and fly short bouncy patrolling flights over the stream riffles occasionally hovering.
Population trend and potential threats: Poor water quality and habitat destruction are threats to this species.
Management practices: Populations should be monitored and habitats preserved.
References: Dunkle, Sydney W. 2000. Dragonflies Through Binoculars: A Field Guide to Dragonflies of North America. Oxford University Press, New York, NY. 266 pp.
West Virginia Division of Natural Resources: Wildlife Diversity Program. Dragonflies and Damselflies of West Virginia. http://martes.dnr.state.wv.us/Odonata/default.aspx Accessed: 4/8/2013
Paulson, Dennis. 2011. Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. 530 pp.
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