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jade clubtail

jade clubtail (Arigomphus submedianus) [female] [male]
Photos © Mary Kay Rubey

Features and Behaviors

The adult jade clubtail is about two inches long and has a pale green body with a dark spot on the end of its long abdomen. It has small, widely separated, green eyes and a pale, green face. Females are slightly paler in color than males and lack the swollen region at the end of the abdomen that gives the species its name. They are easily mistaken for the stillwater clubtail (Arigomphus lentulus) but have smaller stripes on their thorax; and while the jade clubtail is found statewide, the stillwater clubtail has only been observed on the southeastern side of the state. 

Larval species of the family Gomphidae are burrowers and have short thick antennae with wedge-shaped heads. Adults can be seen in late May to July statewide near slow-moving rivers, ponds, and lakes. They make short, sporadic flights and perch on low lying vegetation and brush near shorelines. Copulating pairs find shelter on shoreline vegetation. Females lay eggs without help of male by flying along the surface of the water and releasing eggs beneath the surface at irregular intervals. 

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: common, native