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Ophiogomphus carolus
Riffle Snaketail

Needham, 1897
Gomphidae, Clubtail Family
photo of Male riffle snaketail
Male riffle snaketail — Dan Jackson
Status-Global/State:
Global: G5 Wisconsin: S3
Distinguishing Characteristics:
The riffle snaketail male has a greenish thorax with black shoulder and thoracic stripes. The length of the body varies from 1.6 to 1.8 inches. The female is similar to male, but with paler coloration. The legs are usually black, in some cases thighs can have pale green stripes. The abdomen is usually black with pale green markings with dorsal stripes and some spots at the end of the abdomen. The eyes can vary from green to pale blue. Ophiogomphus species are very similar to each other in some aspects, careful inspection is needed to identify those snaketails.
Description of Habitat/Range:
Found throughout northeastern United States and southeastern Canada, the riffle snaketails prefer woodland streams and rivers that are clear, fast-moving, and with sand or rocks. Uncommon in Wisconsin, it is widespread throughout northern Wisconsin.
Flight Season:
Late May to mid-August in Wisconsin.
(Click on photos to enlarge)
photo of Male riffle snaketail
Male riffle snaketail — Dan Jackson
photo of Male riffle snaketail
Male riffle snaketail — Dan Jackson
photo of Close-up of male riffle snaketail thorax
Close-up of male riffle snaketail thorax — Dan Jackson
photo of Side (top image) and top view of cercus for male riffle snaketail
Side (top image) and top view of cercus for male riffle snaketail — Dan Jackson
photo of Female riffle snaketail
Female riffle snaketail — Jim Lind
photo of Female riffle snaketail
Female riffle snaketail — Dan Jackson
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