Cobra Clubtail dragonflies (females)

For those species of dragonflies that do not display sexual dimorphism, males and females are nearly identical in appearance except for their terminal appendages. For example, male and female Cobra Clubtail dragonflies (Gomphurus vastus) are similar in appearance.

Two field markers can be used to identify female Cobra Clubtails, as shown in the following annotated images: 1) they have two terminal appendages (cerci) rather than three (males); and 2) their hind wings are rounded rather than “indented” (males).

A Cobra Clubtail dragonfly (Gomphus vastus) spotted at Riverbend Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

16 MAY 2016 | Riverbend Park | Cobra Clubtail (female)

(See a full-size version of the original photo, without annotation.)

All female dragonflies have a pair of cerci (superior appendages) that have little or no function.

A Cobra Clubtail dragonfly (Gomphus vastus) spotted at Riverbend Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

16 MAY 2016 | Riverbend Park | Cobra Clubtail (female)

(See a full-size version of the original photo, without annotation.)

Related Resource: Cobra Clubtail claspers [males], by Walter Sanford.

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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8 Responses to “Cobra Clubtail dragonflies (females)”

  1. Cobra Clubtail claspers | walter sanford's photoblog Says:

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  8. Cobra Clubtail dragonflies (females) | walter sanford's photoblog Says:

    […] (Gomphurus vastus) are nearly identical in appearance except for their terminal appendages: females have two terminal appendages (cerci); males have three (claspers). Also notice the subtle […]

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