Sunday, July 11, 2010

Midland Clubtail Dragonfly

The midland clubtail is another one of the larger dragonflies that you can find in Minnesota. It is similar in appearance to several of the other large clubtail dragonflies, notably the splendid clubtail, the cobra clubtail and the plains clubtail. The field markings that help distinguish between the the four are the yellow top spots on segments 8 and 9 of the abdomen. The midland club has a small triangular top spot on segment 8 and nothing on 9. The plains clubtail has top spots on both 8 and 9 while the splendid and cobra do not have top spots on either.
The midland club is typically found near rivers, large fast moving streams or large lakes with plenty of motion, I photographed these midland clubs on the banks of the St Croix River in Wild River State Park. Because of their size, and because they are strong fliers, they often will hunt larger damselfly and other dragons. Dragons as large as twelve-spotted skimmer or rapids clubtails are even acceptable prey to the midland clubtail.

10 comments:

Chris said...

Wow That's a big one and beautiful one. Great pictures!

Don't Bug Me! said...

How come everyone else can get good shots of dragonflies!?! They never land or sit still for me :o(

tammymcchesney said...

Very cool...I love the color of it's head!

margie said...

get outta here. that's a helicopter if i ever saw one. great macro!!

awarewriter said...

Nice as always.

michael said...

Stunning photos and, as always great commentary. It does look like a military helicopter.

Kala said...

A beautiful insect - I saw quite a few of them this weekend on the lake.

Christina, Sweden said...

Great capture, as always.
We have lots of those flying around these day so I would need you here to tell me their names ;-)

KaHolly said...

Incredible capture! What a beautiful dragonfly! I've not been very successful at photographing dragons and damsels. But I'm going to try even harder after seeing your beautiful shots. ~karen

centuryplant said...

It's a bit confusing because Midland Clubtails occasionally have a spot on segment 9 too. I also photographed one unusual Plains Clubtail that had the spot on segment 9 missing, but was confirmed as being Plains anyway. So it seems like thoracic stripes are a more reliable guide: Plains has much heavier stripes on the top and side of the thorax. Kind of a hard character to see in the field, unfortunately.