Saturday, June 2, 2018

Piedmont Clubtail Dragonfly: Bumpy Crown, Chunky Thorax, Clubbed Abdomen


Summary: North American piedmont clubtail dragonfly habitats get black-and-green, chunky thoraxes, black-and-yellow abdomens and, on females, bumpy crowns.


piedmont clubtail dragonfly (Gomphus parvidens); photo by H.J. Paine/U.S. Bureau of Entomology; Bertha P. Currie's 1917 description of Gomphus parvidens, plate 27, figure 1, opp. page 226: Proceedings of the United States National Museum, Public Domain, via Biodiversity Heritage Library

North American piedmont clubtail dragonfly habitats appreciate Appalachian culture-, clean water-, woodland plant-loving cultivators and naturalists in inland distribution ranges in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
Piedmont clubtails bear their common name for Appalachian Mountain area occurrences and clubbed abdomens and the scientific name Gomphus parvidens ([crossbow arrow-like] bolt [like] small tooth). Common names confirm scientific committee consensus in the Dragonfly Society of the Americas, whose 28th Bulletin of American Odonatology considers cruiser, emerald and skimmer family distributions. Descriptions in 1917 by Rev. Rolla Patteson Currie (March 25, 1875-Sept. 20, 1960), National Museum of Natural History neuropterist (net-winged insect specialist), 1894-1904, decide scientific designations.
Piedmont clubtail life cycles expect clean, moderate- to small-sized, slow-flowing, woodland pools, rivers and streams with rocky or sandy bottoms, silt deposits and well-vegetated waterside banks.

April through June function as earliest to latest flight seasons and furnish wildlife mapping opportunities in all of North America's piedmont clubtail Appalachian Mountain inland niches.
Piedmont clubtails grab mates, perches and prey on near-ground to canopy leaves in humid semishade, low-lying, overhanging, sunny, waterside tree leaves and river and stream banks. They head out on fast-paced patrols of downstream and upstream waters and through woodland clearings and, during cool weather, hover over woodland pools, rivers and streams. Their itineraries involve immobile intervals, as sallier perchers like broadwings, dancers, nonglider nonsaddlebag skimmers and spreadwings, between investigative interludes of invertebrate opportunistic waterside and woodland prey.
Ants, assassin flies, biting midges, ducks, falcons, fish, flycatchers, frogs, grebes, lizards, spiders, turtles and water beetles and mites jeopardize North American piedmont clubtail dragonfly habitats.

Immature piedmont clubtails keep diminutive sizes and rocky, sandy, silty pool-, river- and stream-kind colors even though blue- and gray-green-eyed adults know blacks, greens and yellows.
Incomplete metamorphosis leads piedmont clubtails from round eggs loosened from female abdomen-loaded egg balls to immature multimolting nonflying larvae naiads or nymphs and to molted tenerals. Immature, little adult-like stages metamorphose into shiny-winged, tender-bodied, weak-flying tenerals that master permanent colors and physical and sexual maturation, mate and manipulate eggs into ovipositing sites. Aphids, beetles, borers, caddisflies, copepods, crane flies, dobsonflies, gnats, leafhoppers, mosquitoes, rotifers, scuds, water fleas and worms nourish common clubtail members of the Gomphidae dragonfly family.
North American piedmont clubtail dragonfly habitats offer northward to southward, season-coldest temperatures from minus 10 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 23.33 to minus 12.22 degrees Celsius).

Beech, bellflower, birch, bladderwort, cattail, daisy, grass, greenbrier, heath, laurel, madder, maple, nettle, olive, pepperbush, pine, pondweed, rush, sedge, water-lily and willow families promote piedmont clubtails.
Blue-gray-green, brown or violet eyes, two cone-like pointed tubercles (bumps) for two of three simple eyes, ovipositors, unclubbed abdomens and two claspers qualify as adult female hallmarks. Adult males reveal black-and-green-striped chunky thoraxes, dot-tipped clear wings, black legs, yellow-spotted black abdomens with yellow-, triangle-patterned tops and clubbed, yellow-spotted tips and three black claspers. Adults show off 1.54- to 1.81-inch (39- to 46-millimeter) head-body lengths, 1.14- to 1.34-inch (29- to 34-millimeter) abdomens and 0.98- to 1.22-inch (25- to 31-millimeter) hindwings.
Blue-green compound eyes, black-and-green-striped, chunky thoraxes and clubbed, yellow-spotted, yellow triangle-patterned black abdomens tell piedmont clubtails from other odonates in North American piedmont baskettail dragonfly habitats.

comparison of thoracic markings on piedmont clubtail dragonfly (left) and mustached clubtail dragonfly (Gomphus brevis; accepted name now Gomphus adelphus); outlines of figures adapted by Bertha P. Currie from outlines for Cyanogomphus genus by E.B. (Edward Bruce) Williamson; plate 27, figures 1 and 2, Bertha P. Currie's 1917 description of Gomphus parvidens: Proceedings of the United States National Museum, Public Domain, via HathiTrust

Acknowledgment
My special thanks to talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the internet.

Image credits:
piedmont clubtail dragonfly (Gomphus parvidens); photo by H.J. Paine/U.S. Bureau of Entomology; Bertha P. Currie's 1917 description of Gomphus parvidens, plate 27, figure 1, opp. page 226: Proceedings of the United States National Museum, Public Domain, via HathiTrust @https://hdl.handle.net/2027/hvd.32044106298672?urlappend=%3Bseq=295>
via Biodiversity Heritage Library @ http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/7553625
comparison of thoracic markings on piedmont clubtail dragonfly (left) and mustached clubtail dragonfly (Gomphus brevis; accepted name now Gomphus adelphus); outlines of figures adapted by Bertha P. Currie from outlines for Cyanogomphus genus by E.B. (Edward Bruce) Williamson; plate 27, figures 1 and 2, Bertha P. Currie's 1917 description of Gomphus parvidens: Proceedings of the United States National Museum, Public Domain, via HathiTrust @ https://hdl.handle.net/2027/hvd.32044106298672?urlappend=%3Bseq=295
via Biodiversity Heritage Library @ http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/7553625

For further information:
Abbott, John C. Dragonflies and Damselflies of Texas and the South-Central United States: Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Princeton NJ; Oxford UK: Princeton University Press, 2005.
Ancestry.com. Rev Rolla Patteson Curie. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.
Available @ https://search.ancestrylibrary.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc=rZd1&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&gss=angs-c&new=1&rank=1&msT=1&gsfn=rolla%20p&gsfn_x=0&gsln=currie&gsln_x=0&msypn__ftp=preemption%20illinois&msbdy=1875&msddy=1960&catbucket=rstp&MSAV=1&uidh=ft7&pcat=BMD_DEATH&h=95770510&dbid=60525&indiv=1&ml_rpos=3
Beaton, Giff. Dragonflies & Damselflies of Georgia and the Southeast. Athens GA; London UK: University of Georgia Press, 2007.
Berger, Cynthia. Dragonflies. Mechanicsburg PA: Stackpole Books: Wild Guide, 2004.
Currie, Bertha P. "Gomphus parvidens, a New Species of Dragonfly From Maryland." Proceedings of the United States National Museum, vol. 53, no. 2199 (June 1, 1917): 223-226. Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1917.
Available via Biodiversity Heritage Library @ http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/7553621
Available via HathiTrust @ https://hdl.handle.net/2027/hvd.32044106298672?urlappend=%3Bseq=291
"Gomphus parvidens." James Cook University-Medusa: The Odonata - Dragonflies and Damselflies > Anisoptera > Gomphidae > Gomphus.
Available via James Cook University-Medusa @ https://medusa.jcu.edu.au/Dragonflies/openset/displaySpecies.php?spid=1260
Paulson, Dennis. Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, Princeton Field Guides, 2011.


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