The Spiketails: Pacific Spiketail
With only eight or nine species found in the United States, Spiketails, the common name for dragonflies in the Cordulegastridae family, rank among the least populous of the dragonfly families.
All the species belong to the Cordulegaster genus, and six of them are indigenous to forest and stream areas east of the Rocky Mountains.
Cordulegaster species are characterized as large dragonflies with thin black or dark brown abdomens covered with a bright yellow pattern. Like their fellow Aeshnoidea, the darners, they spend most of their day flying. Coming across one that is perching in the sun is always a treat.
The Pacific Spiketail (Cordulegaster dorsalis), pictured above, is the most common Western species.
The bottom picture highlights the specie's characteristic short, black legs, thorasic stripes and aqua eyes.
© 2007. Patricia A. Michaels