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arrowhead spiketail

arrowhead spiketail (Cordulegaster obliqua) [female] [male]
Photo © Mary Kay Rubey

Features and Behaviors

The arrowhead spiketail dragonfly is about two and three-fourths to three and one-half inches long. Its wings are clear. The abdomen is dark brown or black with a series of yellow, arrowhead-shaped marks that point away from the thorax. Yellow stripes are present on the thorax which is black. Eyes are large and green or blue-green. The eyes meet at a point on the top of the head.

This species is active from April to August. It is found near streams and seeps usually in forested areas. It eats insects and may hunt at water, wet meadows or clearings in forests. Nymphs eat insects and a variety of other small animals. Males defend a territory and fly from one to three feet above the ground or water. Adults perch close to the ground.

Illinois Range


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Odonata
Family: Cordulegastridae

Illinois Status: common, native