Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Division of Entomology

Pale Snaketail

Ophiogomphus severus

Hagen, 1874

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The Pale Snaketail is a large, mostly green western dragonfly with little or no club and short legs. The thorax is pale green, and the abdomen is black and yellow with yellow triangular spots on top of each segment, supposedly reminiscent of the markings on a snake. The legs are pale and the eyes are blue-gray. The female resembles the male.

Fairly common. A western species found most frequently in the westernhalf of the state with scattered records to the Missouri River. Most ofthe Nebraska records are the easternmost for the species. It is a stream and river species often found perching on bare patches of ground,or on sticks or logs in a stream. It is also often found in numbers in fields not far from the a river.

Pale Snaketail
Pale Snaketail male
Pale Snaketail map

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


Size: 49-52 mm (1.9-2.0 in)

Habitat: rivers with moderate current and large lakes

Great Plains Range: KS, NE, SD, NM, CO, WY, MT

Flight season: mid June to late August



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