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St. Croix Snaketail (Ophiogomphus susbehcha)



Saint Croix Snaketail (Ophiogomphus susbehcha ), a dragonfly listed as a Federal Species of Concern and Endangered in Wisconsin This dragonfly is known from the Saint Croix, Chippewa and Flambeau Rivers and prefers moderately large, clean, fast-flowing warm water streams with cobble-gravel-sand substrate. The flight period extends from mid May through late June.

State status

Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin

The table below provides information about the protected status - both state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for St. Croix Snaketail (Ophiogomphus susbehcha). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where occurrences of this species meet NHI data standards and is not meant as a comprehensive map of all observations.

Note: Species recently added to the NHI Working List may temporarily have blank occurrence maps.

Documented locations of Ophiogomphus susbehcha in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database as of July 2015.
Summary Information
State StatusEND
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankS2
Global RankG2
Tracked by NHIY

Species guidance

Note: a species guidance document is not available at this time. Information below was compiled from publication PUB-ER-085-99 (now out-of-print).

Identification: Color pattern and shape of the terminal appendages easily separate this species from other Ophiogomphus.

Habitat: Prefer larger streams than other snaketails, with fast flow and clean water and with abundant cobble and gravel with sand substrates in largely forested watersheds. Larvae have only been found in deep water where wading is difficult or impossible.

State Distribution: Good populations occur in the middle Saint Croix River and the upper Chippewa River. There is a small population in the lower Saint Croix River and the species has been reported sporadically from the lower Flambeau River. These streams harbor the only known populations anywhere, despite exhaustive surveys in the upper Midwest, in past several years.

Phenology: Adults are seldom seen even at sites where larvae or exuviae are common and apparently forage above the forest canopy. They are sometimes found around streamside bushes or open fields.

Management Guidelines: See the Ophiogomphus discussion section.



St. Croix Snaketail

Close-up of Thorax of Male St. Croix Snaketail.

Photo by W.A. Smith, WDNR.

St. Croix Snaketail

Female St. Croix Snaketail.

Photo by W.A. Smith, WDNR.

St. Croix Snaketail

Male St. Croix Snaketail.

Photo © Matt Berg.

St. Croix Snaketail

Male St. Croix Snaketail.

Photo © Matt Berg.

Last revised: Friday, February 15, 2019