Stylurus scudderi (Selys, 1873)
NatureServe Global Rank: G4
Virginia State Rank: S1S2
VA DGIF Tier: IV
Federal Legal Status: None
Virginia Legal Status: None
Description: The Zebra Clubtail is about 2.3 inches long. There is a dark X-like pattern with a pale center across the green-eyed face. The thorax has the first two segments fused and the others are similar in width to the spaces between. The abdomen is black with a distinct whitish or pale greenish ring at the anterior end of each segment leading up to the enlarged club. The club segments have large irregular spots on the sides. The female has brighter yellow markings including a somewhat fragmented dorsal line on the abdomen and a far less-developed club. The legs are black.
Similar species: The Zebra Clubtail is quite distinctive but most similar to Spiketails (Cordulegaster species) which lack the clubbed abdomen (which is also reduced in the female Zebra Clubtail) and have only two stripes on the front of the thorax, lacking the more complex pattern seen on the Zebra Spiketail. It may also be confused with the Arrow Clubtail (Stylurus spiniceps) which has spots on the abdomen, not rings like the Zebra Clubtail.
North American Range: The Zebra Clubtail is found in the northern Great Lakes area and the northeastern United States, but also ranges down the Appalachians (including southwestern Virginia) to northern Georgia.
VA Observations by Locality: Grayson | Roanoke, City of
Flight season and broods: The Zebra Clubtail is most likely found from mid-June through September.
Aquatic Habitat: The Zebra Clubtail prefers clean rivers with moderate flow and sand/gravel bottoms, in forested areas.
Behavior and Ecology: Zebra Clubtail males fly low to the water, usually at riffles, occasionally hovering and landing on rocks. They are active all day, especially later in the day. Females are less frequently seen and prefer the higher areas of trees. Copulation occurs in the trees and the females make very brief flights to riffles to quickly deposit eggs.
Population trend and potential threats: The Zebra Clubtail may be negatively impacted by poor water quality and habitat degradation.
Management practices: Populations should be monitored and habitats preserved.
References: Bangma, J. 2003. The Dragonflies and Damselflies of New Jersey. http://njodes.com/Speciesaccts/species.asp . Accessed: 4/8/2013
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.
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
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: Thursday, 07 March 2019, 09:48:31 PM