Minnesota Dragonfly

Skillet Clubtail

Gomphurus ventricosus

The Skillet Clubtail is a dark Clubtail 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 cobra Clubtail, which has a similarly wide club


Field Marks
  • Average adult size is approximately from 1.9 to 2.1 inches
  • Yellow face with no facial markings with green eyes
  • Wide yellow stripes on the top of the thorax with little black space in between
  • Bold shoulder stripes that connect at top and bottom
  • Middle stripes thin, faint, and often broken, making them hardly visible
  • Black widely clubbed abdomen with lance type top spots on segments 3 to 7, no top spots on segments 8 to 10
  • Large yellow patches on the sides of segment 8 and 9
  • Segment 8 has a distinctive black rim that borders the bottom of the yellow patch

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Field Marks
  • Female is colored similarly to the male
  • Hind femur has a yellow line at the base
  • Female's abdomen is less clubbed than the male's
  • Medium sized triangular shaped subgenital plates

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Similar Species

  • Cobra Clubtail
  • The Cobra Clubtail has bold facial markings, the Skillet Clubtail has a relatively clean face
  • The yellow stripes on the top of the Cobra Clubtail's thorax are thinner, with less black space in between, than those of the Skillet Clubtail
  • The Cobra Clubtail has a smaller club than the Skillet Clubtail
  • Midland Clubtail
  • The Midland Clubtail is slightly larger and looks more yellow than the Skillet Clubtail
  • The Midland Clubtail's club is less than the width of its thorax, the Skillet Clubtail's club is wider than its thorax
  • The Midland Clubtail has a top spot on abdominal segment 8, the Skillet Clubtail does not
  • Click on the photo to see side by side comparisons
  • Click on the photo to see side by side comparisons

Natural History


Rarely seen species even within its range. They often perch low in the grass sally forth over the water in search of prey and then returning to their perch. When disturbed they tend o fly out over the water. They sometimes hunt in fields far from the breeding grounds.


Fast-flowing streams and rivers with sandy or muddy bottoms and good water quality. Can also be found in clean lakes with sandy or calcium-rich bottoms


Females lay eggs by dipping abdomen into the water and releasing the eggs.

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.