This dragonfly is at home near creeks in the mountains. It is an early flier, only seen as an adult in Spring, when males sit on rocks in the streams and chase females, or defend their territories against other males. Clubtail dragonflies are named for the expanded tip of their tails, which is more exaggerated in males.
An interesting feature of Pacific Clubtail is that the younger individuals are a lot brighter in color than mature adults. Immature males are bright yellow, but over time their colors become much more subdued.
They are important predators that eat mosquitoes and other small insects. Nearly all of the dragonfly’s head is eye, so they have incredible vision that encompasses almost every angle except right behind them.
Pacific Clubtails are expert fliers. They can fly straight up and down, hover like a helicopter and even mate mid-air. If they can’t fly, they’ll starve because they only eat prey they catch while flying.
Dragonflies were some of the first winged insects to evolve, some 300 million years ago. Modern dragonflies have wingspans of only two to five inches, but fossil dragonflies have been found with wingspans of up to two feet.