Minnesota Dragonfly

Arrowhead Spiketail

Cordulegaster obliqua

The Arrowhead Spiketail is a large dark dragonfly with green eyes that come together in a single point and two yellow thoracic side stripes. It is easily identifiable by the yellow arrow shaped top spots that run across most of its abdomen.


Field Marks
  • Average adult size is approximately 3.1 inches
  • Bluish-green to green eyes that meet at a single point.
  • Face yellow to beige with dark crosslines
  • Thorax dark brown to black with two straight yellow stripes.
  • Abdomen black with yellow arrow shaped top spots on segments 2-7
  • Roundish yellow top spot on segment 8
  • Male has square shaped top spot on segment 9
  • Female typically has no top spot on segment 9
  • Neither sex has spots on segment 10
  • Female ovipositor extends beyond segment 10

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Natural History


Males often patrol low over streams. Females typically leave the breeding habitat until they are mature. Hunting takes place while patrolling streams or in fields adjacent to streams. Not overly wary but when flushed will often retreat to the tree tops.


Small fast-moving spring-fed forest streams and seeps with soft muddy/silty bottoms


Females oviposit alone by hovering low over the water and then stabbing there ovipositor into the substrate at the bottom of a stream. They do this repeatedly in quick succession then may move to a new location and repeat the process.

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.