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lilypad clubtail

lilypad clubtail (Arigomphus furcifer) [male]
Photo © Mary Kay Rubey

Features and Behaviors

The lilypad clubtail is a mostly black dragonfly with pale blue-green markings on the thorax and arrow-shaped marks down the top side of the abdomen. Their eyes are bright blue, and they have clear wings with black veins. Males have a dramatic fork on the back of their “clubbed” tail. They are almost identical to the lilypad clubtail is the unicorn clubtail (Arigomphus villospies); which occurs in the same counties and is difficult to differentiate the subtle color differences between the two species without having them in-hand.

The larvae inhabit sandy pools and leaf-littered forest streams. Adult lilypad clubtails inhabit lakes, ponds, and slow waters with lots of aquatic vegetation. Dragonflies are predators and winged adults forage near their breeding habitats. They can be seen in flight from May to July in the north-eastern/north-central region of Illinois. 

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: common, native