Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Division of Entomology

Cobra Clubtail

Gomphus (Gomphurus) vastus

Walsh, 1862

Dragonfly Page|Damselfly Page|Home Page

The Cobra Clubtail (subgenus Gomphurus) is a medium-sized black dragonfly with yellow or green markings and a very wide club. It can be recognized by the lateral yellow spots on its club: small dots on abdominal segment 8 and large ones on segment 9. The bases of the wings are occasionally tinted with yellow. The eyes are green, and the face is yellow with a broad blackish stripe. It is often found perching horizontally on rocks along rivers or in the brush near the water's edge. The female is similar to the male, but with a smaller club and paler markings.

Uncommon. This is an eastern species from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada and west to the Missouri River. All our records are from counties bordering theMissouri or lower Platte Rivers and it probably occurs in allcounties bordering the Missouri, at least until the river turnswest. It is reliably found in late June/early July in Nemaha andRichardson Counties but seems less common at other sites alongthe river. In 2012, a year after the Missouri was out of its banks forover 100 days, there were none at the standard sites. It is found in weedyvegetation of the river bank or in mowed paths just back from the river.

Cobra Clubtail
Cobra Clubtail male
Cobra Clubtail map

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

Size: 47-57 mm (1.9-2.2 in)

Habitat: large rivers with moderate to strong current

Great Plains Range: TX, OK, KS, NE, MO, IA, MN

Flight season: early June to early July

Back to Top|Dragonfly Page|Damselfly Page|Home Page

To report a new county record or comment on this site:

To submit a photo for acceptance as a county record, send it to: