Wisconsin Odonata Survey


Ophiogomphus rupinsulensis  (Walsh, 1862)
Rusty Snaketail

Gomphidae, Clubtail Family


Global: G5     Wisconsin: S4    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

This bright greenish dragonfly is generally from 1.8 to 2.1 inches with brown shoulder stripes. At the end of the brownish abdomen, there are some black and yellow markings. The eyes of the males are usually yellow-green to blue-green, browner in females. The female is similar to the male, but with a smaller club and duller abdominal markings. Ophiogomphus species are very similar to each other in some aspects, careful inspection is needed to identify those snaketails.

Description of Habitat/Range:

Common throughout northeastern United States and southernmost Canada, it is usually found at medium to large rapid rivers and streams in a various types of soils. It seems that the rusty snaketail is more tolerant of silt, which can result from disturbances, than other snaketails. Common in Wisconsin, it is widely distributed throughout northern two-thirds of the state.

Flight Season:

Late May to late September 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 rusty snaketail
Male rusty snaketail. © Dan Jackson

Male rusty snaketail
Photo of Teneral male rusty snaketail
Teneral male rusty snaketail. © Dan Jackson

Teneral male rusty snaketail
Photo of Female rusty snaketail
Female rusty snaketail. © Dan Jackson

Female rusty snaketail
Photo of Female rusty snaketail
Female rusty snaketail. © Dan Jackson

Female rusty snaketail

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