Friday, June 20, 2014

Horned Clubtail

I have spent the summer trying relatively unsuccessfully to learn how to identify clubtails. Scott King verifies that these two photographs are Horned Clubtails. My research indicates that Horned Clubtails can be identified by their dark-topped 8th abdominal segment in combination with the yellow spot on the top of the 9th segment. Horned Clubtails have horns, one of which I think is visible in the upper photo, along side of the right eye and behind the antenna. Finally Horned Clubtails have a yellowish plate on the top of their head, a plate that is often notched. Males, like in the lower photo, lack distinct clubs at the end of their abdomens. All this sounds easy enough, but among the Horned Clubtails, I have encounted dozens of Plains Clubtails, which I will discuss in my next post.

I have posted on Horned Clubtails before and I do not have much to add to that previous account. Horned Clubtails are often found near water. Males perch on bare ground, rocks, waterside leaves, and lily pads. When disturbed, both sexes often seek refuge in nearby forest treetops.

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