Unicorn Clubtail dragonflies (males)

During a recent photowalk at Huntley Meadows Park, I was reminded that Unicorn Clubtail (Arigomphus villosipes) is one of my favorite species of dragonflies. C’mon, just look at the color of those eyes — you gotta love that!

I was also reminded Unicorn Clubtails are very skittish. Apparently I’m not the only odonate-hunter who noticed.

It commonly rests on wet pond edges, rock and logs, where it can be extremely difficult to approach. Source Credit: Unicorn Clubtail, Odonata Central.

In my experience, you see more Unicorns by letting them come to you rather than by actively looking for them. Find the right habitat for Unicorn Clubtails, sit down and let the game come to you (to use a sports metaphor). Patience is the key. I shot 16 photos during a two-hour period — far fewer shots than a typical photowalk, but hey, it was a beautiful day to sit under a shade tree and wait for one of my favorite dragonflies to appear!

A Unicorn Clubtail dragonfly (Arigomphus villosipes) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a male.

09 JUN 2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Unicorn Clubtail (male)

The preceding Unicorn Clubtail appears to have a slightly malformed wing and abdomen. Both individuals are males, as indicated by their unique terminal appendages: the epiproct is a large “plate” that spans both cerci.

A Unicorn Clubtail dragonfly (Arigomphus villosipes) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a male.

09 JUN 2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Unicorn Clubtail (male)

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

Related Resource: Kevin Munroe, former manager at Huntley Meadows Park, provides good guidance regarding the right habitat for Unicorn Clubtails at his excellent Web site, Dragonflies of Northern Virginia.

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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3 Responses to “Unicorn Clubtail dragonflies (males)”

  1. Eastern Pondhawk (female, eating prey) | walter sanford's photoblog Says:

    […] Backstory: While I was sitting on my Coleman camp stool waiting for Unicorn Clubtail dragonflies to come to my location, I spotted an Eastern Pondhawk dragonfly perching on the ground a few feet to my right side. Out of […]

  2. Unicorns in unexpected places (Part 1) | walter sanford's photoblog Says:

    […] 18 JUN 2016 | OBNWR | Unicorn Clubtail (male) […]

  3. Unicorns in unexpected places (Part 2) | walter sanford's photoblog Says:

    […] 02 JUL 2016 | Mason Neck West Park | Unicorn Clubtail (male) […]

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