BLACK-SHOULDERED SPINYLEG

and Riverine clubtail

The individual at left is a female Black-shouldered Spinyleg, photographed on August 22, 2018, at Jacoby Road Canoe Launch. This site is located on the Little Miami River (south of Yellow Springs). Black-shouldered Spinylegs prefer forested streams and rivers. 

Black-shouldered Spinyleg, photographed in Beavercreek on June 16, 2018. The name pretty much says it all: this species has long hindlegs covered with sharp spines, and a dark shoulder patch. 

This male Black-shouldered Spinyleg was photographed near the Caesar Creek dam on August 7, 2016. He was hanging out in the parking lot on a very hot day. The dragonfly was cooperative, but I nearly got run over by a car trying to photograph him!

This is the rarest dragonfly I have ever found. She is a female Riverine Clubtail, a member of the hanging clubtail family. The design on the thorax is similar to a Black-shouldered Spinyleg. However, Black-shouldered Spinylegs have long, all-black hindlegs, while Riverine Clubtails have shorter hindlegs with yellow thighs (see below). 

I found this Riverine Clubtail at one of the Beaver Creek Wetlands parks on July 9, 2017. There are very few recent records of this species in Ohio. (This may be due, in part, to the fact that adults are very secretive and spend a lot of time perched in trees.) Riverine Clubtails supposedly prefer medium to large rivers - although that doesn't really describe the habitat where I found this individual. She was in a wooded corridor not far from a very small creek, surrounded by wetlands. 

Black-shouldered Spinylegs have a distinctive pattern on the front of their thorax, which is similar to only one other species in our area: the rare Riverine Clubtail (discussed below). 

This is the same individual as above. You can clearly see the dark shoulder patch here, and the spines on the hindlegs.