Saturday, June 21, 2014

Midland Clubtail

I photographed these Midland Clubtails on 8 June 2014 in the Carleton College arboretum.  I indicated in my last post that I have been finding clubtail identification to be challenging. For one thing, Midland Clubtails in our part of Minnesota tend to be quite variable—our population is in a blend zone between a western and eastern subspecies, Gomphus fraternus fraternus and Gomphus fraternus manitobanus. Most our our Midland Clubtails have a yellow triangle on the top of their 8th abdominal segment. The 9th segment is variably marked, sometimes strongly yellow, other times dusky, and can be totally black.
Another key for identification is the thin yellow or green line across the sides of their thorax. I have previously blogged about Midland Clubtails. This species is a voracious predator that often consumes other dragonflies. This clubtail often perches on sandy trails and roads.

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