Maine Snaketail, Ophiogomphe du Maine

(Ophiogomphus mainensis)


Adult size: 42-46 mm

Habitat: This species is mainly associated with clear, rocky woodland streams and smaller rivers, frequently where they drain marshes or lakes.

Flight period: In New Brunswick, emerges in late May and flies to mid-August (dates May 10th- August 10th)

Adult male Maine Snaketail, Bouctouche River at Chemin de la Traverse in St Paul, July 5th, 2010

ID hints: The only snaketail in our region normally lacking dorsal markings on abdominal segment 8 (S8), S9 and S10. Indeed, segments S1 to S7 have the narrowest pale yellow dorsal streaks of our Snaketails, which occasionally also occur on S8 and S10 and most rarely on S9. Riffle (O. carolus) and Brook Snaketails (O. aspersus) have wider dorsal stripes than this species. Boreal Snaketails (O.colubrinus) have a cross-line on the face which is absent from this species, as well as both the Riffle and Brook Snaketails and a few more. Ed Lam has posted a series of scans showing variations of markings on these segments in the Northeastern Odonata Group on Facebook:

S8-S10 Markings Variations, Scans by Ed Lam

Claspers (cerci) of male Maine Snaketail in both lateral and dorsal views, from specimens at the NB Museum

General Nature Notes: Common to abundant along a number of the cleaner, swifter-flowing watercourses in New Brunswick, this tends to be the second most easily spotted of the seven species of Snaketails in our region. Like the Riffle Snaketail, this species perches on stones or boulders, but it prefers these features near more gentle rapids. It is also decidedly more wary than the Riffle Snaketail. Away from water, this species tends to feed in fields. In flight, it is often seen flying low above riffles and rapids. During the day, like other members of the genus, it will perch (frequently) in the crown of trees, making it very difficult to locate and belying its actual abundance. Early in the evening, this species becomes less wary and more active in shaded areas, often perching on rocks and overhanging leaves.

Maine Snaketail emerging, Renous River at Pineville, June 17th, 2007

Teneral (recently emerged) female Maine Snaketail, Bartholomew River at Bartholomew, June 15th, 2013. The markings on her thorax will turn greener with age, resembling the colour pattern in the older males.

Adult male Maine Snaketail, full on dorsal view, Bartholomew River at Bartholomew, July 24th, 2007

Adult male Maine Snaketail, mostly lateral view, Shaw Brook at Victoria Rd, late June, 1997

For a graphic showing the Maine Snaketail in comparison with our other species of Snaketails, click on this link:

NB Snaketail Scans of males by Tony Thomas

Also, see Tony Thomas's Maine Snaketail habitat shots (links below):

1) Maine, Riffle, Rusty (and a few other species of) Snaketail Habi...

2) More habitat shots of sites where Maine Snaketail has been recorded

Finally, below is a link to a map showing locations recorded to date in NB for this species:

Maine Snaketail mapped locations

Tags: Account, Maine, Ophiogomphe, Ophiogomphus, Snaketail, Species

Views: 213

Replies to This Discussion

Outstanding species account, Denis!

Very informative Denis.  Thanks!

Thanks sooooo much for these profiles Denis. I really do want to seek out these snaketails, add them to my list so to speak  and this will be a tremendous help. Most of the rivers you mention I am not familiar with but will find out. This gives me an idea!

I just love all the sleuthing tips Denis!!  We can't ID them if we can't find them!! 

FYI- I just added a link to Tony's scans of the males of 7species to the discussion, as well as a link to a graphic that Ed Lam just posted on Northeastern Odonata on Facebook showing the gradation (variation) of markings on the dorsal surface of O. mainensis in the discussion above. I have also added the link directly below:

Variations in dorsal markings on male O. mainensis by Ed Lam

Wonderful job Denis! All linked together! Just awesome!

A little contribution ...

Maine Snaketail map locations

These maps are free to make, do not expire, I can edit out the surveyor names if anyone wants - just let me know, they are private (not found by search engine) and viewable only if you know the link above, I believe no ads (I turned off my ad-blocker and saw none).

Map is fantastic. I like seeing the surveyor names.

I am curious as to where you got all the info. I have a databased with most of my records but have no idea where to find other surveyors records ( a private answer OK).

just 1 minor comment, could you not just show NB on the map.

should read  "... could you show just NB, no need for the whole world"


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