Minnesota Dragonfly

Elusive Clubtail

Stylurus notatus

The Elusive Clubtail is a slender Clubtail with blue eyes and heavy facial markings. As their common name would suggest, adults are not commonly seen, preferring to spend their time flying far out over the water or perched in the tree tops


Field Marks
  • Average adult size is from approximately 2.0 to 2.5 inches
  • Blue eyes
  • Face dark above pale below with black band on the frons and small lines around the mouth
  • Yellow thorax with 4 approximately evenly spaced dark stripes
  • Black abdomen with triangular top spots on segments 3 to 8
  • Segments 9 and 10 have no top spots
  • Yellow side spots on segments 8 and 9 outlined on the bottom in black
  • Black legs

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Field Marks
  • Female is colored similarly to the male
  • Face dark above pale below without the dark bar on the frons like the male
  • Base of female hind leg is pale
  • Broader abdomen than male with less distinct club
  • Yellow spots on the side of the abdomen

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Natural History


The aptly named Elusive Clubtail spends most of its time, after emergence, foraging in the tree tops. Making getting a glimpse let alone netting one or getting a picture a difficult prospect. When they do come to the water to mate they spend most of their time far from shore over the open water. They are a late season dragonfly, especially for a Clubtail, and can often be seen through to mid October


Large rivers and lakes preferably with a silty bottom


Adults do not spend much time at the breeding site. Females lay eggs by dipping their abdomen into the water

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.