Onychogomphus – Pincertails
Small Pincertail – Onychogomphus forcipatus – European Dragonfly photo
Small Pincertail ( Onychogomphus forcipatus ) is the most common and most widely distributed of the Onychogomphus species in Europe. It is often to be found sitting on sunny rocks at the edge of rivers.The first photograph of O. forcipatus ssp unguiculatus in Spain shows it in the ‘sky pointing’ or obelisk position. This minimises the surface area of the abdomen exposed to the sun and serves to show off the large appendages. The photographs of O. forcipatus ssp albotibialis taken in Turkey and the Greek islands are shown for comparison.
KEY I/D FEATURES :
Males have blue eyes which become more greeny blue further north in its range. The yellow and black appearance is similar to the Large Pincertail – Onychogomphus uncatus although it is slightly smaller and the yellow markings are less pronounced (but this can be variable). The last segments of the body are more club shaped with the superior appendages sharply angled inwards and overlapping. There are usually three cells in the anal triangle on the wing.
Females have a more cylindrical body and more extensive yellow markings. In the hand two tubercules behind the eyes may be seen.