Wisconsin Odonata Survey


Progomphus obscurus  (Rambur, 1842)
Common Sanddragon

Gomphidae, Clubtail Family


Global: G5     Wisconsin: S3S4    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Varying from 1.8 to 2.1 inches, this brown and yellow dragonfly has 2 dorsal thoracic stripes which usually create a yellow "W" on the shoulders. There are yellow stripes on sides of the thorax as well. Each wing has a brown spot at base with the top edge of the wing yellow. The most of the slender brown abdomen has dorsal yellow triangles and small lateral pale spots at the end. The eyes generally are olive green-yellow in males and brown in females. The face is greenish. The males are easily identifiable by the yellow appendages (at very end of the abdomen). The females are similar to the males but with duller coloration and a thicker abdomen.

Description of Habitat/Range:

Common throughout southern Great Plains and eastern United States, common sanddragons inhabit sand bars in small streams and shallows of wide lakes; sand-bottomed streams and rivers, and in the north, sand-bottomed lakes. It is infrequently found throughout Wisconsin.

Flight Season:

Mid-June to late July 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 common sanddragon
Male common sanddragon. © Dan Jackson

Male common sanddragon
Photo of Male common sanddragon
Male common sanddragon. © Dennis Paulson

Male common sanddragon
Photo of Teneral common sanddragon on its exuvia
Teneral common sanddragon on its exuvia. © Brian M. Collins

Teneral common sanddragon on its exuvia
Photo of Emerging common sanddragon
Emerging common sanddragon. © Brian M. Collins

Emerging common sanddragon
Photo of Female common sanddragon
Female common sanddragon. © Dan Jackson

Female common sanddragon
Photo of Teneral female common sanddragon
Teneral female common sanddragon. © Dan Jackson

Teneral female common sanddragon

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