Wisconsin Odonata Survey


Stylurus spiniceps  (Walsh, 1862)
Arrow Clubtail

Gomphidae, Clubtail Family


Global: G5     Wisconsin: S4    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

The males of most of the "hanging" clubtails (genus Stylurus) have long, slender abdomens. When perched on leaves, the bodies are pulled down by their weight, creating the appearance of "hanging" clubtails. The arrow clubtail is black marked with green-yellow. The thorax has very wide black stripes, often fused creating yellow shoulder stripes. The face and legs are black. The length of the body varies from 2.2 to 2.7 inches. The abdomen is black with small yellow spots and at the end, lower sides edged with yellow. The arrow clubtail is recognizable by its very elongated abdomen. The segment just before the tip of the abdomen (segment 9) is longer than other clubtails.

Description of Habitat/Range:

Common throughout eastern United States, from Tennessee to southeast Canada, arrow clubtails can be found at sand-bottomed large rivers, rarely streams or lakes. It is widespread throughout Wisconsin, although not necessarily in abundant numbers.

Flight Season:

Late June to mid-August in Wisconsin.

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 arrow clubtail
Male arrow clubtail. © Dan Jackson

Male arrow clubtail
Photo of Teneral male arrow clubtail
Teneral male arrow clubtail. © Dan Jackson

Teneral male arrow clubtail
Photo of Female arrow clubtail
Female arrow clubtail. © Dan Jackson

Female arrow clubtail
Photo of Female arrow clubtail
Female arrow clubtail. © Dan Jackson

Female arrow clubtail

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