Ozark Emerald Somatochlora ozarkensis

Without question, the most impressive dragonfly I have ever held in my hand. This female was doing a baskettail-like spinning flight over an Ozark creek for small insects. Just looked dark in flight. Note the paddle-shaped ovipositor at the rear. Distinctly different from the Mocha Emerald. And the Mocha has no white markings on the thorax. Arkansas currently has four true Emerald species. There are an impressive number north of us. All but the Mocha are rare finds. This is the only Ozark I have ever seen.

Same female at slightly different angle.

And from Big Creek Natural area in 2015 on the butterfly count. This female crashed into the vegetation in front of Bo and I. She was still a bit soft winged. I held her first and I was convinced at the time she was more delicate and had a shorter subgenital plate than the above Ozark female. The three Emerlads that are very similar are Ozark (ozarkensis), Treetop (provocans) and Texas (margarita). At the time I wrote this in 2015 no one had found any geographic overlap between the three. With the Treetop coming very close to the NE corner of Arkansas. The females are remarkably similar except for the subgenital plate. The male Treetop has a distinctive terminal end. Ozark and Texas males have strikingly similar terminal appendages. Bo and I went back and walked the creek to look for a male. We found none in 2015. This goes down as an Ozark for now.

Compare the handheld side shot of the male Ozark from David Arbour in OK. Note the circle of the cerci is almost oval. The Clamp-tipped is much more open. (See below.)

This is the male Clamp-tipped, Somatochlora tenebrosa. Showing the open circular male cerci. Note also the much reduced striping on the thorax. Almost as dull as the Mocha for side stripes. Also shot in Oklahoma. Females have a long ovipositor and a ventral spike.