Minnesota Dragonfly

Ashy Clubtail

Phanogomphus lividus

The Ashy Clubtail was moved from the genus Gomphus to the new genus Phanogomphus. Their dull brown and yellow coloration makes them look different than most other species of Clubtails, in the area, which help to identify them, although they are quite similar looking to the Dusky Clubtail


Field Marks
  • Average adult size is approximately from 1.8 to 2.2 inches
  • Face yellow and brown sometimes with a slight crossline and blue to purple eyes
  • Brown thorax with the front two thoracic stripes completely fused together as well as the third and fourth completely fused
  • Brown abdomen with triangular yellow top spots on segments 3-8
  • Top spots start out long and almost arrow shaped on segment three and get progressively smaller until segment 8
  • Tip of abdomen is barely clubbed with no top spot on segments 9 and 10
  • Brown legs with pale line on tibiae
  • Similar looking to Dusky but claspers are missing the downward spike or tooth

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Field Marks
  • Female looks similar to the male except for:
  • Females eyes range from blue to violet
  • Female ashy have a convex occiput
  • Top spots on abdomen are generally longer than those on males

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Similar Species

  • Dusky Clubtail
  • Dusky Clubtail males have a downward pointing tooth on the underside of the cerci, Ashy Clubtail males do not
  • Ashy Clubtail females have a convex occiput, the Dusky Clubtail females have a tiara shaped occiput
  • Lancet Clubtail
  • The Lancet Clubtail is typically smaller than the Ashy Clubtail
  • The Lancet Clubtail usually has a slim but noticeable separation between the first two thoracic stripes, the Ashy Clubtail has little to no separation
  • The Lancet Clubtail male has lance shaped cerci, the Ashy Clubtail male has very plain cerci
  • Click on the photo to see side by side comparisons
  • Click on the photo to see side by side comparisons

Natural History


Males typically perch on the ground, rocks, logs, or low in vegetation, typically near the water where they patrol until early evening. When disturbed they fly in a series of semicircles and will usually perch back on the ground a short ways away


Slow moving wooded streams and rivers and wave-beaten lake shores


Females lays eggs by dipping their abdomen into the water close to the bank or shoreline

Range Maps

Click on the icons above for this species' range maps

Click here for county and state checklists from Odonata Central.

Range maps and checklists courtesy of Odonata Central. Copyright © 2016 OdonataCentral. All Rights Reserved. Abbott, J.C. 2006-2018. OdonataCentral: An online resource for the distribution and identification of Odonata. Available at www.odonatacentral.org.