Stylurus notatus (Rambur, 1842)
NatureServe Global Rank: G3
Virginia State Rank: SH
VA DGIF Tier: II
Federal Legal Status: None
Virginia Legal Status: None
Description: The Elusive Clubtail is a large species at 2.4 inches long. It has a pale face with a brown bar across the upper part, and blue eyes. The thorax has yellow stripes that are not in contact with the yellow markings at either end. The abdomen is black with a pale line on the dorsal side at the base (S1, S2) and pale triangles on the remaining segments (S3 - S8). The posterior (club) segments have large pale spots on the sides. The legs are black except for the pale basal half of the hind thigh on the female.
Similar species: The Elusive Clubtail is similar to the Riverine Clubtail (Stylurus amnicola) but the latter has a different pattern on the thorax that distinguishes it from other species, as well as yellow hind thighs. Laura's Clubtail (Stylurus laurae) is brown instead of black. The Arrow Clubtail (Stylurus spiniceps) has wider stripes on the thorax and a longer segment (S9) on the abdomen. The Midland Clubtail (Gomphus fraternus) and Cobra Clubtail (Gomphus vastus) have more slender abdomens so they can easily be separated.
North American Range: The Elusive Clubtail has a somewhat triangular range that spans from the Great Lakes Region, south to northern Alabama but mainly in between the Mississippi River and the Appalachian Mountains. There is a small population in northern Virginia and western Maryland.
VA Observations by Locality: Loudoun
Flight season and broods: In Virginia it is most likely encountered from June to October.
Aquatic Habitat: The Elusive Clubtail is most often found near large, slow-moving rivers and large lakes. These water bodies often have a sandy substrate, but sometimes gravel or silt as well.
Behavior and Ecology: This species is most often seen during an emergence. Adults spend most of their time high in the trees and when they visit their host waters, they prefer to stay far from the shoreline. Males prefer to patrol in the early afternoon, and both sexes may be found foraging in lower vegetation in areas where there are no trees.
Population trend and potential threats: The Elusive Clubtail may be negatively impacted by poor water quality and habitat degradation.
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.
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