Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Division of Entomology

Eastern Ringtail

Erpetogomphus designatus

Hagen in Selys, 1858

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Ringtails are so called because of the light-colored rings on each of the middle abdominal segments. The brightly-colored male Eastern Ringtails have moderate-sized, orange to yellow clubs. The thorax is green with dark stripes, and the eyes are light blue. Females are marked much like males, but lack the club at the end of the abdomen. The wings often (but not always) have patches of color at their bases.

This species will perch in low vegetation and on rocks, or on the ground in open areas near water. It is the most widely distributed of Ringtail species, but it has been only rarely recorded in Nebraska.

This is an eastern and southern species ranging from the east coast westinto eastern Colorado and Texas with a disjunct population in theBlack Hills of South Dakota. Southern Nebraska is on the northern edge ofthe range, and all four county records are close to the Kansas border. It is likely to be found on small, clear, gravel/sand streams through farm land or riparian corridors.

Eastern Ringtail
Eastern Ringtail male
Photo courtesy of Giff Beaton.
Eastern Ringtail map

Green indicates accepted county record (specimen or photograph).
Yellow indicates sight record only.


Size: 49-55 mm (2 in)

Habitat: clear, sandy-bottomed streams

Great Plains Range: TX, OK, KS, NE, SD, NM, CO, MO

Flight season: early July to late September



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