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Pronghorn Clubtail, Gomphus graslinellus

The pronghorn clubtail (Gomphus graslinellus) is a species of dragonfly that can be found in many areas in Canada and the United States. This species, like other dragonflies, can be found near ponds, lakes, and streams and can be seen between the months of June to August, although it can be seen as early as May in the American state of Iowa.

The pronghorn clubtail is a medium-sized species, reaching an average body length between 1.8 and 2.1 inches, with large nymphs, or larvae, reaching a length of up to 1.1 inches. The thorax and face are green in color, with brown spots occurring along the thorax, while the abdomen is brown to dark black in color with long triangular marks occurring along the upper side, which can vary from green to yellow in color.

Adult pronghorn clubtails consume many types of soft-bodied, flying insects including moths, butterflies, and mayflies, while nymphs consume the larvae aquatic insects including mosquito larvae, but will also consume freshwater shrimp, tadpoles, and small fish. After breeding, females will fly low over the surface of the water, laying her eggs in areas where the larvae can bury themselves in sand or mud. Larvae are thought to be extremely choosy about which type of substrate they will bury into and will only choose certain areas of a stream, lake, or river. The larvae use the tip of their abdomens to breath, pumping water in and out to receive oxygen.

Image Caption: I believe the insect to be a Pronghorn Clubtail Dragonfly (Gomphus graslinellus). Credit: Alan Vernon/Wikipedia (CC BY 2.0)

Pronghorn Clubtail Gomphus graslinellus


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