Wisconsin Odonata Survey

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Ophiogomphus howei  Bromley, 1924
Pygmy Snaketail


Gomphidae, Clubtail Family

Status-Global/State:

Global: G3     Wisconsin: S4    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Very small for snaketails, the pygmy snaketail is about 1.2 to 1.3 inches long. Stocky, the thorax is olive-green with brown stripes. The abdomen is black with bright yellow markings. There is a yellowish orange tint at base of hindwings. The eyes are green and legs are black.

Description of Habitat/Range:

This is an uncommon species that is known to be found in Wisconsin and along the east coast from West Virginia to Maine, especially along Appalachian Mountains. Pygmy snaketails like clean big rivers with clear, fast-moving water and gravel/sand bottoms. They are rarely found in small rivers. It also seems that they cannot breed below dams due to the altered habitat conditions. In Wisconsin, it has been infrequently found in northern counties.

Flight Season:

Late May to early July in Wisconsin.


Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
18%
(262)
77%
(1149)
5%
(74)
<1%
(1)
<1%
(1)
<1%
(1)
Shading illustrates monthly percentages of the total flight season records for the species. Each flight season record is a unique date/location/observer combination where one or more adult or an exuvia was recorded (excludes nymphs). The actual number of flight season records for each month is shown in parentheses.

Flight seasons begin earlier in the southern part of the state, often by a week or more. Also, flight charts may not be accurate for rare species because of few data available.
View user-submitted photos

(Click on photos to enlarge)
Photo of Male (bottom) and female (top) pygmy snaketails
Male (bottom) and female (top) pygmy snaketails. © W.A. Smith

Male (bottom) and female (top) pygmy snaketails
Photo of Female pygmy snaketails
Female pygmy snaketails. © Dan Jackson

Female pygmy snaketails
Photo of Female pygmy snaketails
Female pygmy snaketails. © Dan Jackson

Female pygmy snaketails
Photo of Male and female pygmy snaketails
Male and female pygmy snaketails. © Dennis Paulson

Male and female pygmy snaketails



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