Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

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.

The five records in southeast Nebraska are on the extreme western border of this eastern species' range, with the Harlan County record in central Nebaska an outlier. Our 5 county records of this tiny distinctive species represent 6 specimens, not populations. It has been captured twice at Harlan County Reservoir but extensive searching after finding each of these individuals has not turned up additional specimens. 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

Fragile Forktail. Photo courtesy of Terry Hibbitts.

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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