New York Natural Heritage Program
Sable Clubtail
Gomphus rogersi (Gloyd, 1936)

Identifying Characteristics [-]
As their name suggests, Clubtails have an enlarged tip on the end of their abdomens, giving them a club-like appearance. The Sable Clubtail belongs to the subgenus Stenogomphurus. Sables are an Appalachian species, 2.0 inches in length, with an undeveloped club and black legs. They are slender and olive green to mostly black, have green eyes, and a black, interruped stripe on the side of their thorax. Males have a pale grayish-green thorax, whereas this portion of the body is greenish-yellow on females. They appear all black on the tops of abdominal segments 8-10. These may be separated from a similar southern species (not known to occur in New York State), the Cherokee Clubtail (Gomphus consanguis) by their characteristic black on the top portion of their heads. Male terminal appendages and female subgenital plates are distinctive from other Gomphus species when examined under magnification.

Behavior [-]
Adult Sable Clubtails forage at forest edges and males are known to perch on rocks, overhanging grass, and floating plants of forest streams (Dunkle 2000).

Diet [-]
Sable Clubtail larvae feed on smaller aquatic invertebrates and adults feed on insects which they capture in flight.
Sable Clubtail Images
click to enlarge
The Best Time to See
The Sable Clubtail has been found in New York in late June at both of its known locations. Adult males can be found at appropriate water habitats from mid-morning to late afternoon patrolling for females (Dunkle 2000). Larvae may be found in appropriate habitats year-round.
Present Reproducing
The time of year you would expect to find Sable Clubtail present (blue shading) and reproducing (orange shading) in New York.
Similar Species
  • Harpoon Clubtail (Gomphus descriptus)
    The black thoracic stripe of the Harpoon Clubtail is sometimes interrupted, and is always interruped with the Sable Clubtail. The female Harpoons have black legs with a green-streaked hind thigh, while female Sables have all black legs (Dunkle 2000).
  • Beaverpond Clubtail (Gomphus borealis)
    The Beaverpond Clubtail has a narrow, brown midfrontal stripe on its thorax, where the Sable Clubtail has a black, interrupted stripe (Dunkle 2000).
  • Mustached Clubtail (Gomphus adelphus)
    The Mustached Clubtail has a more prominent club with a smaller and chunkier overall appearance when compared with the Sable Clubtail (Dunkle 2000, Nikula et al. 2003).