Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Division of Entomology

Fragile Forktail

Ischnura posita

Hagen, 1861

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Fragile Forktail males and young females are easily recognized by their small size and shoulder stripes which are broken into a pair of dots and dashes, like two exclamation marks. The male is yellow-green marked with black. Young females are brown but become pruinose gray with maturity.

This is an eastern species barely reaching Nebraska, where it is rare. There are only a few widely scattered records of this tiny but distinctive species. It has been captured twice at Harlan County Reservoir, but extensive searching after finding each of these individuals has not turned up additional specimens. The Loren and Babs Padelford have found it in Fontenelle Forest, Sarpy County. The few records are from heavily vegetated pond edges or marshy areas.

Fragile Forktail

Size: 21-29 mm (0.8-1.1 in)

Habitat: ponds, marshes and slow streams in thick vegetation

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

Flight season: late June to mid July

Fragile Forktail map

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

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