Wisconsin Odonata Survey

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Stylurus plagiatus  (Selys, 1854)
Russet-tipped Clubtail


Gomphidae, Clubtail Family

Status-Global/State:

Global: G5     Wisconsin: S3S4    

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. Varying from 2.2 to 2.6 inches in length, this gray-green dragonfly is striped with yellow and brown-black. Both lateral thoracic stripes are present in a complete form. The males are recognizable by a rusty orange club. The abdomen has no pattern. The female's abdomen is very elongate and nearly clubless. The face is brownish with green eyes. The legs are black with thighs pale green to brown. The females are similar to the males but less brightly colored.

Description of Habitat/Range:

Ranging through eastern and southwestern United States, the russet-tipped clubtail often prefers silty sand-bottomed rivers, streams, and lakes. In Wisconsin, it is fairly common during its flight season on the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers as well as the lower sections of their tributaries. On the Mississippi River, it is typically found around wing dams on the main channel as well over turbulent sections of large sloughs.

Early in the flight season, immature adults can be found in open areas adjacent to the river. They often perch on low bushes and plants and will fly to the tree tops when disturbed. Later in the flight season, mature males and females can be found in similar habitat adjacent to patrol areas. The best time to look for them is early and late in the day or on chilly days when the males aren't flying over the river.

Flight Season:

Normal flight season is late June to early September with some years stretching to early October if weather permits.


Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
4%
(6)
32%
(55)
42%
(71)
17%
(29)
6%
(10)
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 russet-tipped clubtail
Male russet-tipped clubtail. © Dan Jackson

Male russet-tipped clubtail
Photo of Male russet-tipped clubtail
Male russet-tipped clubtail. © Dan Jackson

Male russet-tipped clubtail
Photo of Male russet-tipped clubtail
Male russet-tipped clubtail. © Dan Jackson

Male russet-tipped clubtail
Photo of Immature male russet-tipped clubtail
Immature male russet-tipped clubtail. © Dan Jackson

Immature male russet-tipped clubtail
Photo of Female russet-tipped clubtail
Female russet-tipped clubtail. © Dan Jackson

Female russet-tipped clubtail
Photo of Female russet-tipped clubtail
Female russet-tipped clubtail. © Dan Jackson

Female russet-tipped clubtail
Photo of Immature female russet-tipped clubtail
Immature female russet-tipped clubtail. © Dan Jackson

Immature female russet-tipped clubtail
Photo of Russet-tipped clubtail pair
Russet-tipped clubtail pair. © Dan Jackson

Russet-tipped clubtail pair



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