Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

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. This western species is found most frequently in the western half of the state with scattered records to the Missouri River and almost no records in the southern counties. There is one record in Iowa, one in South Dakota and two in Kansas, so Nebraska represents the eastern extension of the range. It is a stream and river species often found on sticks and logs in a stream or in fields not far from the 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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