Clubtails (Gomphidae)
Note: There are 40 clubtail species that have been found in Georgia, and I will only include those I have photos of here. Both of the first two links of the "Dragonflies" page give the exact list of species found in Georgia and which counties. Many clubtails can only be identified with certainty in hand! The order of some of the species has been changed to place similar species next to each other. Click on any image to see a larger view.

NOTE: In Nov 2016 a new article elevated several former subgenera of clubtails to full genera. The article is Phylogenetic relationships of North American Gomphidae and their close relatives by Ware, Pilgrim, May, Donnelly, and Tennessen. I have made the changes below.

Two-striped Forceptail (Aphylla williamsoni)

Large and bulky. Widespread below fall line, but does not appear in numbers until August. Note long reddish abdomen, held curved in flight, and detail of thorax at upper right. Male appendage detail lower right. Females tough to find, note slimmer club and short appendages at lower left.

1 Jun- 4 Oct

Gray-green Clubtail (Arigomphus pallidus)

Pond clubtail, south only. May also be found along slow streams occasionally. Image at lower left is in extreme obelisk position, images on third row and at lower right are females. Note that both sexes vary from bright and well-marked to dull and weakly-marked. 12 records.

1 Apr- 24 Jul

Unicorn Clubtail (Arigomphus villosipes)

The only GA records are from Walker or Dade County, the first on 23 May 2003 at lower right.

9 May- 4 Jul

Southeastern Spinyleg (Dromogomphus armatus)

Large colorful clubtail, but very wary and local. Scattered records below fall line. Upper two males, others female. Male club varies from yellow-orange to reddish-orange.

1 Jun- 17 Sep                                              

Black-shouldered Spinyleg (Dromogomphus spinosus)

Widespread in all habitats. Note resemblance to some clubtails but different thoracic pattern. Also note spines on upper legs which give this group its name. Note that some may have lots of yellow on sides of club, and some not. Very yellow individuals in middle row are imm females.       
8 May- 20 Sep

Flag-tailed Spinyleg (Dromogomphus spoliatus)

Found only in four counties in extreme nw Georgia.
24 May- 21 Sep

Eastern Ringtail (Erpetogomphus designatus)

Widespread but uncommon at rivers and streams, more common below the fall line. Thorax color ranges from green to yellow, yellow in older individuals. All males on left, females on right. Second down on left is teneral.

17 May- 27 Oct

Recently (see top of this page), several former subgenera have been elevated to full genera, and I follow the new classification here.
Gomphurus Mostly large and bulky, with wide clubs
Small and chunky with very wide clubs
Stenogomphurus Two very slender and fairly dark clubtails with gray-green adult colors.
The genus Gomphus is now considered to be strictly Eurasian, and all of the North American clubtails that used to be in that genus are now in Phanogomphus. These are mostly slender clubtails will minimal clubs.

Cherokee Clubtail (Stenogomphurus consanguis)

Very similar to Sable Clubtail. Note gray-green color, number of abdominal segments with color on upper surface (most), and pale face. Two solid thin lateral black stripes on thorax, rear one rarely broken but never forward one.  Left images are males, and right are females. The very yellow images are young individuals of both sexes. Club of male varies in amount of yellow along sides. Rare and local, only known from about nine streams in northwest Georgia.

23 May- 20 Jun


Sable Clubtail (Stenogomphurus rogersi)

Very similar to Cherokee Clubtail but more widespread in extreme north Georgia, and rarely found almost to the fall line. Same gray-green thorax color, but top of abdomen almost completely black and much darker face. Forward lateral thoracic stripe usually broken. Blacker overall than Cherokee, especially top of abdomen, but sides of male club may show quite a bit of yellow. Females are extremely similar to female Cherokee, see all right column images.

11 May- 27 Jun


Blackwater Clubtail (Gomphurus dilatatus)

Large impressive clubtail, may be difficult to tell from Cobra in the field, but much larger. Area of yellow on last long abdominal segment (s9) smaller and face darker than Cobra. Note size of thorax and head compared to Cobra. Lower two images of females. Also check notes under Splendid Clubtail below, which is similar in size but only found in NW GA.

11 Apr- 25 Jul


Cobra Clubtail (Gomphurus vastus)

Can be difficult to separate from Blackwater in the field, but smaller in direct comparison. More yellow on last long abdominal segment (s9), usually yellow across entire side of that segment, and more obvious black and yellow lines across face. Males on top row, females second row.

11 Apr- 19 Jul


Splendid Clubtail (Gomphurus lineatifrons)

Another large greenish gomphid, closer in size to Blackwater. Note pattern on thorax, size, and pattern of color near tip of abdomen. Also note that the forward lateral stripe down the side of the thorax is incomplete in Splendid but complete in Blackwater. Lower two images are female, rest are males. Only 8 GA records, all from NW.

6 May- 27 Jun

Cocoa Clubtail Gomphurus hybridus)

Fairly common in much of GA early, but sometimes hard to find. 16 county records. Browner than all other Gomphurus clubtails, which are black and green. Female at lower left.

31 Mar- 10 Jun


Clearlake Clubtail (Phanogomphus australis)

This rare species is known only from Emanuel, Taylor, and Telfair Counties. Note very long last segment to abdomen. Female at lower right.

19 Mar- 2 May

Sandhill Clubtail (Phanogomphus cavillaris cavillaris)

This subspecies was thought to be restricted to the FL peninsula, but a small population was discovered in Mar 2007 in Charlton County by Marion Dobbs. These images are from the same pond a few days later. Bright young male upper left, older male lower left. Female at upper right. Note how different they appear from G. c. brimleyi below. Very similar to Cypress Clubtail (see below), but in the hand the shape of the cerci are unique.

26 Mar- 28 Mar are only known dates so far


Diminutive Clubtail (Phanogomphus diminutus)

Most of the range of this species is in the Carolinas, there are three locations with records for GA near Augusta, all in Richmond County. Females (two on right) are identical to Westfall's Clubtail (scroll down). Same very long segment 9 on abdomen of both sexes as Clearlake but much smaller.
13 Apr- 27 May


Lancet Clubtail (Phanogomphus exilis)

Widespread early clubtail, easily the most common with Ashy, can be confused with Ashy but brighter and smaller (see below). Also extremely similar to Cypress (see). Note thoracic stripes usually combined, amount of yellow on sides of male club doesn't usually extend onto segment 7, and pattern of yellow on dorsum of abdomen (usually at least a thin stripe of yellow on segment 8 and wide on segment 9). Note also image of suspended dark individual, can look similar to Ashy. Both lower images are females.
17 Mar- 4 Jul

Ashy Clubtail (Phanogomphus lividus)

Also widespread early clubtail, can be difficult to separate from Lancet (above) but usually much duller and has two distinct stripes on thorax. Look at last long abdominal segment (s9): on Lancet there is usually lots of yellow color on top, on Ashy there is little or none. Ashy is also somewhat larger. Note on females (both lower images) no club.                 

11 Mar- 12 Jun

Cypress Clubtail (Phanogomphus minutus)

This clubtail is widespread early in the year but only south of the fall line. Can be extremely similar to Lancet, but has two usually distinct stripes on side of thorax and full length yellow stripe on top of abdomen. Yellow on side of male club usually comes strongly onto segment 7 in addition to segments 8 and 9. Can also be somewhat dark as in third row left shot. Females in both lower shots. About same size as Lancet. Also very similar to Sandhill Clubtail, but note Sandhill does not have the unbroken dorsal stripe, is usually smaller, and has a face line.

26 Mar- 18 Jun

  Rapids Clubtail (Phanogomphus quadricolor)

One GA record from Murray Co 16 May 1998 by S Krotzer. These shots from KY Jun 2006.

8 May- 16 Jun

Mustached Clubtail (Hylogomphus adelphus)

The female in the two top images was caught at Lake Conasauga 9 Jun 2002, and is the only state record Mustached (note black lines on face). The male at lower left is from CT. Note that male has very little yellow on club.

Banner Clubtail (Hylogomphus apomyius)

Small and rare, 11 records. Note short stubby abdomen and area between thoracic stripes darkened. Female at lower right has just emerged, female at lower left is mature.   

26 Mar- 31 May

Twin-striped Clubtail (Hylogomphus geminatus)

Extremely similar to Piedmont Clubtail, but previously thought to be separated by range. The top two images are from a small known population at the edge of the range of Piedmont in Taylor County, and this population is being studied carefully by Steve Krotzer and others to determine exact taxonomy.       1 Apr-9 Jun

The four lower shots are from the main coastal population of this species, these are from Eglin AFB FL.

Piedmont Clubtail (Hylogomphus parvidens)

There are only 8 records of this rare species in Georgia. Male in both upper images from Unicoi St Park 6 Jun 2004. These are of the "northern form." Male in middle row is from Richmond County in May 2005 ("southern form"). Females in bottom row also "southern" form.

21 Apr- 23 May

Green-faced Clubtail (Hylogomphus viridifrons)

Known only from the Chattooga River so far, discovered in May 2008.

13 May- 15 Jun


Note: The three small clubtails below are not found in GA, and all have restricted ranges along the Gulf Coast or into FL. Sandhill (brimleyi) and Hodge's are possibilities for GA.

Hodges' Clubtail (Phanogomphus hodgesi)

Male shots are from Eglin AFB, FL, 9-10 Apr 2004. Female at lower right is from MS 13 Apr 2007.

1 Apr- 8 May

Sandhill Clubtail (Phanogomphus cavillaris brimleyi)

Shots are from Blue Spring WMA, AL, 7-8 Apr 2004.

7 Apr- 26 Apr

Westfall's Clubtail (Phanogomphus westfalli)

Shots are from Blackwater River State Park, FL, 8 Apr 2004.


Dragonhunter (Hagenius brevistylus)

Huge clubtail, can be found all summer. Perches facing water, note large size, small head, and very long legs. Patrols streams and rivers with abdomen curved down, very distinctive. Female lower right.

8 May- 28 Sep

Southern Pygmy Clubtail (Lanthus vernalis)

This small clubtail has been found in 5 GA counties in the mountains. It is similar to Eastern Least Clubtail but note all-black abdomen and cerci. All males except for female upper and middle right. Note in lower left shot we are still learning what constitutes a sturdy perch.

8 May- 26 Jun

Edmund's Snaketail (Ophiogomphus edmundo)

Perches mostly on rocks just above the water on fast clean rivers, like the Conasauga. Female pausing during ovipositing at lower right. Very rare, only known from eight counties in four states.

24 Apr- 29 Jun

    Pygmy Snaketail (Ophiogomphus howei)

In June 2008 several tiny Ophiogomphus exuviae were found along the Chattooga River in Rabun County. Steve Krotzer has examined them and feels they match this species, so keep your eyes open up there!

Adult howei found in May 2013!!! Not by me, sadly. New species for both states and range extension.



Maine Snaketail (Ophiogomphus mainensis)

Three records. Adults from two different streams in Murray Co: 17 May 1998 and 15 Jun 2006, and a larva in Rabun 25 Sep 2003. Lower right is a female.

17 May- 15 Jun

Appalachian Snaketail (Ophiogomphus incurvatus)

About six county records now.

21 Apr- 26 Jun


Southern Snaketail (Ophiogomphus australis)

Two small streams in Early County are the only know sites for this rare and local SE snaketail. Click here to go to a page explaining this situation.

26 Mar - 6 Apr

Tawny Sanddragon (Progomphus alachuensis)

This species was discovered in GA near St George in Apr 2007 by Steve Krotzer during a larval survey. Dates below are for adults in GA. Males on left are from that same pond, female on right is from FL.
29 Jun- 8 Oct

Common Sanddragon (Progomphus obscurus)

Perches mostly on ground with flattened-appearing thorax and white appendages (cerci) at end of abdomen, easy to see even in flight. Sometimes several in close proximity...
1 May- 23 Aug

Eastern Least Clubtail (Stylogomphus albistylus)

Very small clubtail from north GA. Top  four and lower right are males, lower left is a female. Note in all ages very small size, multiple lines on side of thorax in males and white cerci (terminal appendages). 15 county records, mostly in the northern part of the state.

10 May- 3 Aug

Shining Clubtail (Stylurus ivae)

Seven records from the eastern coastal plain, flies in the fall only. Middle right is young male, bottom left is female.


12 Aug- 15 Oct


Laura's Clubtail (Stylurus laurae)

Male on left found in Fannin Co 12 Sep 2016, female on right in Cherokee Co 15 Aug 2005.

20 Jun- 25 Sep

Russet-tipped Clubtail (Stylurus plagiatus)

This genus flies in summer and fall, and typically perches on leaves hanging down (hence the name "Hanging clubtails" for all Stylurus species). Sometimes perches horizontally like lower right. Holds reddish club raised in flight patrolling low across streams and rivers, note club detail upper right. Female at middle and lower right.

2 Jun- 11 Nov

There are a few records of other Stylurus clubtails from GA, including Riverine (S amnicola), Elusive (S notatus), and Arrow (S spiniceps).

Zebra Clubtail (Stylurus scudderi)

Recently found by Marion Dobbs in N GA. Two upper (poor) photos from Oct 2011. One other GA adult record from White Co 25 Sep early 1900s and several recent larval records. Lower shot from WI Sep 2006 by Ken Tennessen.



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