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Hagenius brevistylus

Selys, 1854

Order Odonata
Suborder Anisoptera
Superfamily Gomphioidea
Family Gomphidae
Genus Hagenius
Species brevistylus Selys, 1854 [Hagenius]


This large, showy dragonfly is not likely confused with any other clubtail in the region. Its face is yellowish-green and cross striped with black. The thorax and abdomen are largely black. The thorax has a pair of brilliant yellow stripes middorsally and laterally. The legs are long and black. The wings are clear with black veins, but may become tinted with amber in older individuals. The abdomen is black with a thin interrupted yellow middorsal and ventrolateral stripe to segment 8. The terminal segments are only slightly expanded, do not appear clubbed, and are characteristically tucked under during flight.


Total length: 76-91 mm; abdomen: 53-65 mm; hindwing: 47-59 mm.

Similar Species

Though this species is unlikely to be confused with other clubtails, it is similar to some spiketails (Cordulegaster). Spiketails however, have eyes touching at least partially on top of the head.


Streams, rivers and creeks with moderate to fast current and undercut banks.


This species is often seen taking prey the size of medium dragonflies and large swallowtail butterflies. One study indicated the presence of this species resulted in aggregations of Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata ) wing clapping and stopping feeding activities. When not foraging, this species will often perch on limbs of trees near water. The males can be remarkably bold, not easily scared off by human intruders when patrolling streams. Females usually lay eggs by regularly dropping down from a perch to water's edge and dipping their abdomen to the surface, but they will also fly back and forth in a small area periodically, tapping the abdomen to the water.


Widespread in eastern U.S. and Canada