Arrowhead Spiketail Cordulegaster obliqua

The mythical Arrowhead. Spiketails are in their own family, the Cordulegastridae. And they deserve it. Hard to mistake for other dragons. There are 8 species in North America and soon to be 9. We have three species including the new creature which will likely be named soon. (Now officially named Ouachita Spiketail.) Denizens of slow trickles and other poor excuses for creeks, they also like swampy areas. Females have the spike on the tail which is used for ovipositing. I have watched them driving the tail spike down into shallow water and mud like a sewing machine. Both sexes have the arrowheads on their dorsum but males are much more distinctly arrow-shaped. Arrowheads fly deep into summer. Twin-spotted Spiketails fly mainly in spring and early summer. The new species is related to the Brown Spiketail (C. bilineata). Habits possibly similar.

Arrowheads cruise over fields and perch in a cocked down angle like the baskettails. They are large dragons. Often fly in a looping and low manner. This is a male in the shot below. Note the face-of-the-clown on the thorax back.

The female in my front yard in 2011. She liked to hunt in the early mornings. She is missing her spike.

And the female facial close up also in my front yard.

Dorsal full view shows the heavier yellow of the female again. Green eyes.

And an April 2012 Spiketail, which seemed earlier than most years. I saw seven different individuals at Bell this day.