Minnesota Dragonfly

Cobra Clubtail

Gomphurus vastas

The Cobra Clubtail is a dark Clubtail with one of the widest club in the region. It was moved from the genus Gomphus to the new genus Gomphurus. It is easy to distinguish by its wide club but can be mistaken with the Skillet Clubtail, which has an even wider club

Identification

Field Marks
  • Average adult size is from approximately 1.9 to 2.2 inches
  • Green eyes with bold black markings on the face.
  • Thin stripes on the top of thorax with a lot of black space in between.
  • Yellow top spots on segments 1 to 7 of the thorax
  • Side spot on segment 8 is small and does not reach the edge.
  • Side spot on segment 9 is larger and continues to the edge with no black margin
  • Club is about equal in width to the thorax

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Field Marks
  • Female is colored similarly to the male
  • The female has yellow side spots on the abdomen
  • Yellow top spots on abdomen are bigger
  • Does not have as large of a club as the male

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Similar Species

  • Skillet Clubtail
  • Cobra Clubtail has slightly smaller club than Skillet Clubtail
  • Cobra Clubtail has bold facial markings, the Skillet Clubtail has none
  • Differences between the width of the stripes on top of the thorax
  • Midland Clubtail
  • Cobra Clubtail has bold facial markings, the Midland Club has none
  • The Cobra Clubtail does not have a top spot on segment 8, the Midland Clubtail does
  • Splendid Clubtail
  • The Cobra Clubtail is almost a quarter smaller than the Splendid Clubtail
  • There are differences on the yellow side spots on segment 8 between the species
  • Click on the photo to see side by side comparisons
  • Click on the photo to see side by side comparisons
  • Click on the photo to see side by side comparisons

Natural History

Behavior

Often found perched on plants, bushes, rocks or on the ground beside a river or stream.

Habitat

Large rivers and streams, often with sandy or silty bottoms. Also sometimes found around large lakes.

Reproduction

Mating usually occurs while perched on plants or shrubs or in the upper parts of trees. Females lay eggs by flying over the water and tapping or dipping the tip of the abdomen into the water to wash eggs off.

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.