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Stylurus plagiatus
Russet-tipped Clubtail

(Selys, 1854)
Gomphidae, Clubtail Family
photo of Male russet-tipped clubtail
Male russet-tipped clubtail — Dan Jackson
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.
(Click on photos to enlarge)
photo of Male russet-tipped clubtail
Male russet-tipped clubtail — Dan Jackson
photo of Male russet-tipped clubtail
Male russet-tipped clubtail — Dan Jackson
photo of Male russet-tipped clubtail
Male russet-tipped clubtail — Dan Jackson
photo of Immature male russet-tipped clubtail
Immature male russet-tipped clubtail — Dan Jackson
photo of Face of male russet-tipped clubtail
Face of male russet-tipped clubtail — Dan Jackson
photo of Side (top image) and top view of cercus for male russet-tipped clubtail
Side (top image) and top view of cercus for male russet-tipped clubtail — Dan Jackson
photo of Female russet-tipped clubtail
Female russet-tipped clubtail — Dan Jackson
photo of Female russet-tipped clubtail
Female russet-tipped clubtail — Dan Jackson
photo of Intermediate female russet-tipped clubtail
Intermediate female russet-tipped clubtail — Dan Jackson
photo of Immature female russet-tipped clubtail
Immature female russet-tipped clubtail — Dan Jackson
photo of Subgenital plate of female russet-tipped clubtail
Subgenital plate of female russet-tipped clubtail — Dan Jackson
photo of Russet-tipped clubtail pair
Russet-tipped clubtail pair — Dan Jackson
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