Ophiogomphus incurvatus incurvatus Carle, 1982
NatureServe Global Rank: G3T2T3
Virginia State Rank: S2
VA DGIF Tier: II
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 but pale 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 Appalachian Snaketail. While Edmund's Snaketail has not been recorded in Virginia, it co-occurs with the Appalachian Snaketail in North Carolina and 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, O. i. alleghaniensis, is very similar but is a bit larger and has different male terminal appendages and the females have larger closer-spaced occipital crests. There is still confusion in the relationship of these subspecies.
North American Range: The Appalachian Snaketail occurs in the Appalachian mountains, in three separate main populations occurring in central Maryland and SE Pennsylvania, southern West Virginia and southwestern Virginia through the northeastern Georgia and western South Carolina, and central Alabama and west central Georgia. There is a small population in South Carolina in the lower piedmont, near Aiken.
VA Observations by Locality: Charlotte | Bedford | Floyd
Flight season and broods: Found from April through June.
Aquatic Habitat: Small or medium spring-fed streams with mud/gravel bottom.
Behavior and Ecology: They 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 degradation may negatively impact 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.
LeGrand, H., E. Corey and T. Howard. The Dragonflies and Damselflies of North Carolina. http://www.dpr.ncparks.gov/odes/a/accounts.php. 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