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Odonata - Gomphurus hybridus

Odonata - Gomphurus hybridus
Thomaston, Upson County, Georgia, USA
April 24, 2005
Size: 1 1/2 to 2 inches
This was photographed at Sprewel Bluff State Park near Thomaston, GA on the
afternoon of 4/25/05. The Flint River is shoaly and fairly rapid in this
area. There were a lot of these perched on the ground close to the river
bank. At first glance, I thought they were dragonflies until I saw their
flight and folded and sometimes spread wings at rest. When disturbed, they
would weakly fly about 30 feet before landing on the ground again. Some were
perched low on twigs but most were on the ground. Their length is about 1 /2
to 2 inches. I think they are some sort of damselfly but can not find any ID
on them.

I'm thinking clubtail
But I got lost looking through Dunkle (1). They all look fairly similar to me, and quite a few occur in the area you mentioned. Some of the pictured ones did have this wings up pose. I'm ready to be corrected by someone who's looked at more odes than I have.

Thanks, Troy. I got lost too. After a while, they start to look the same!

Certainly Gomphidae with the eyes so far apart and the inflated end of the abdomen, but we would interpret the wings, position and texture (and description of weak flight), to mean this is a teneral, just shortly out of the larval skin. As Tony posted on a recent odonate, that exuvia is probobly right there just outside the vision of the camera. The color pattern on the front of the thorax should narrow down the choices some, but identifying tenerals from images of hardened adults is always tough.

I agree
definitely a gomphid, pretty sure we can get a bit closer. Looks to me very much like a Gomphus (Gomphurus). Rear end is out of focus but my guess is a male. Locality, season, and colour pattern suggest a Cocoa Clubtail, Gomphus (Gomphurus) hybridus. A very nice photo, I think you came across a mass emergence of this species - right place at the right time.
Anthony W. Thomas

Thanks for your help. I'll try to go back in a few days. Maybe I'll find them again and get a shot of the older ones.

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