Comprehensive Description

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General Description

Coloration of Ophiogomphus severus is similar to its close relatives, except that O. severus has a larger proportion of black across the entire body. The head and eyes are yellow with a black line across the frons and a black vertex. Eyes do not meet dorsally. Thorax is more greenish yellow than the head and abdomen with a diagnostic dark brown oval on the prothorax. Both the forewings and the hindwings have a yellow costal vein, but dark venation color throughout the rest of the wing. Leg segments show a mottled color pattern, the leg base yellow, the tarsi black and the femur and tibia displaying both colours. Abdomen is primarily yellow and black. Lateral stripes are continuous from the first to the terminal abdominal segment while the dorsal stripe is arranged as a row of large yellow spots ending on the ninth segment. Caudal appendages are also entirely yellow. Males and females of this species look very similar, but can be differentiated by more color on the legs of the female (Needham, et al 2000). 

This species is divided into two subspecies: Ophiogomphus severus severus Hagen (described above) and Ophiogomphus severus montanus Selys which is described as having a larger lateral brown spot on the prothoracic segment and more black on segment 10 of the abdomen (Needham, et. al. 2000).

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© University of Alberta Museums

Source: University of Alberta Museums

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