Thursday, December 12, 2013

Banner Clubtail (Gomphus apomyius) ~ Murray County

While tromping through some Murray County wetlands last June, I came upon a dragonfly that perched just long enough for me to snap a couple of photographs. It was a female clubtail, but I didn't have a clue which one until I returned home and began studying it. After several looks at the field guides, I felt like I had photographed an adult Banner Clubtail(Gomphus apomyius). Consultation with odonatologists, Giff Beaton and Marion Dobbs confirmed my identification. Apparently, there are very few records of this species for north Georgia.

The Banner Clubtail's GA Distribution Map illustrates a cluster of Piedmont counties with records near the Fall Line with only a few county records in other physiographic regions in the state. Floyd and Rabun are the only other north GA counties that boast records of this species for the northern regions. Interestingly, these records are based on collected nymphs from tributaries. This photographed specimen is one of the few known adults to have been recently observed here. Another important aspect concerning this observation is the date. The day in which I photographed this dragonfly, June 17, is about an entire month later than the known flight period for this species. This insect was found only one hundred feet from the Conasauga River. It was in a field in the floodplain.

Thanks to Marion Dobbs for all the wonderful information about this rare insect. Check out her excellent website Dragonflies and Damselflies of Georgia .

Also, Giff Beaton's masterful field guide Dragonflies and Damselflies of Georgia and the Southeast is a must for the odonate enthusiast. This would make an excellent gift for any naturalist! Follow this link to purchase: The University of Georgia Press

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