Minnesota Dragonfly

Sioux Snaketail

Ophiogomphus smithi

The Sioux Snaketail is an Ophiogomphus that is found only in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. Because it is very particular about its larval habitat, this species is limited to only a handful of locations and can be quite difficult to find

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Field Marks
  • Average adult size is approximately 1.8 inches
  • Face is pale below with green on the frons, with no facial markings
  • Blue to blue-grey eyes
  • Green thorax with brown shoulder stripes and only one brown mid stripe. The third thoracic stripe is either incomplete or missing
  • Black legs with a pale stripe on the thighs
  • Dark abdomen with candle-shaped top spots on segments 2 to 7 becoming triangles on 8 and 9 and a spot on 10
  • Pale smudged patches on the sides of segment 8 and 9
  • Claspers are pale and swollen

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Field Marks
  • Female is colored similarly to the male
  • Females typically have duller more grey colored eyes
  • Abdomen is generally broader on the females with less visible clubbing
  • Subgenital plates are shaped like devil horns and are only about half the length of segment 9

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Natural History


Males make patrolling flights, without hovering , over riffles. When not patrolling males often perch on the sand or on low vegetation near the shore. Females typically perch on vegetation in sunny woodland clearings, away from the water, until they are ready to mate


Sandy bottomed rivers and streams


Females lay eggs by dipping. Nymphs burrow into sandy river beds

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.