Pacific Clubtail

This seems to be the year of the dragonfly/damselfly here in northeastern California. Perhaps it is my imagination, but there appear to be more of these beautiful  insects than usual flying about. I will continue to share them.

This Pacific clubtail (Gomphus kurilis) was along the Klamath River a few miles west of I-5 (Siskiyou County CA). It is a medium-sized dragonfly species belonging to the clubtail group because the tip of its abdomen, particularly exaggerated in males, is enlarged. It can be found around moving water. 

The Pacific clubtail has bluish eyes that do not touch. There are two stripes on the back of the thorax and a broad stripe along the thorax side. The abdomen is black or brown with two large mark on the lower sides of segments 8 and 9. A narrow, interrupted stripe runs down the top of the abdomen. The wings (which a dragonfly holds horizontal when perched) are clear and have large stigmas (colored, thickened areas near the tip of the wing). The coloration on a male is more greenish while a female’s color tends toward yellow. Male Pacific clubtails like to perch on rocks or the ground while females can more often be found among vegetation.

I believe this is a female Pacific clubtail even though I found it on the sandy ground. The coloration is yellow. Males have three terminal appendages on their abdomen, but I only see two, indicative of a female, on this specimen. In addition, thre is not a large “club” at the end of the abdomen. I also do not see the bump (genetalia) that males have under the second abdominal segment.  I would love to get input from someone with more knowledge about dragonflies than I posses.

I am happy to have some many beautiful dragonflies about this summer.

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