Species At Risk

Laura’s Clubtail

(Stylurus laurae)

Endangered

Laura’s Clubtail
Laura’s Clubtail occurrences map

Description

Laura’s Clubtail is a dragonfly with green eyes and a pale face with one or two dark cross bars. It has prominent green or yellow stripes on the thorax (the area between the head and the abdomen), and a dark abdomen with a yellow stripe on its back. It is named “clubtail” for a club-like widening at the end of its abdomen. Laura’s Clubtail is about six centimetres long.

Laura’s Clubtail eggs can take between five and 30 days to hatch. Once hatched, larvae spend two to four years in sand and mud river bottoms. Larvae emerge from the water and molt into adults in June. Adults die in early fall of the same year.

Action we are taking:

Range

In Ontario, Laura’s Clubtail is only known to occur in two sites in Ontario; along Big Creek and Big Otter Creek in the Tillsonburg and Long Point area near Lake Erie. This dragonfly may also occur undetected in nearby areas with similar habitats.

Laura’s Clubtail is considered rare in bordering states but is relatively widespread in the southeastern United States.

Habitat

Laura’s Clubtail larvae need shallow, sandy or sandy-muddy bottomed creeks with forested shorelines. They are sensitive to water quality degradation and are only found in unpolluted waters. During their adult life stage, they require forest cover beside the creek. Adults use riffle areas in the stream for foraging and require vegetation along the creek to perch between flights.

Threats

Since much is still not known about Laura’s Clubtail, direct threats to the Ontario populations have not been identified. Because Laura’s Clubtail has specific habitat needs and is sensitive to pollution, habitat loss and degradation are potential threats to the species.

Development, agricultural practices, and invasive species – especially round goby – may also degrade Laura’s Clubtail habitat. Many dragonflies are also killed when hit by cars.

Protection

Laura’s Clubtail and its habitat are protected under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act.

What You Can Do to Help Laura’s Clubtail

  • The Ministry of Natural Resources tracks species at risk such as Laura’s Clubtail. You can use a handy online form to report your sightings to the Natural Heritage Information Centre. Photographs with specific locations or mapping coordinates are always helpful. nhic.mnr.gov.on.ca
  • Report any illegal activity related to plants and wildlife to 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667).
  • Private land owners have a very important role to play in species recovery. If you find Laura’s Clubtail on your property, you may be eligible for stewardship programs that support the protection and recovery of species at risk and their habitats.
  • Volunteer with your local nature club or provincial park to participate in surveys or stewardship work focused on species at risk.
  • Invasive species such as round goby are a potential threat to Laura’s Clubtail. To learn what you can do to help reduce the threat of invasive species, visit: ontario.ca/invasivespecies; www.invadingspecies.com; www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca; and, www.invasivespecies.gc.ca.
  • The Carolinian forests of southern Ontario support an amazing diversity of plants and wildlife, including many species at risk. Carolinian Canada is working to help recover species at risk and their habitats. For more information, visit: www.carolinian.org/specieshabitats.htm.
  • You can help improve dragonfly habitat and keep Ontario’s water safe and clean by maintaining natural vegetation next to rivers. The roots of plants reduce erosion and can stop soil from washing into water bodies. There are many things that you can do to help keep pollution and soil from washing into Ontario’s rivers and you might be eligible for funding assistance. For more information on these and other programs contact the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association: www.ontariosoilcrop.org.

Did you know?

Laura’s Clubtail was first recorded in Ontario in 1999.

Did you know?

Laura’s Clubtail is named for Laura Ditzler, a member of the group that first identified the species in 1931.

Did you know?

Laura’s Clubtail is one of over 170 different kinds of odonates (dragonflies and damselflies) in Ontario.

Did you know?

Newly emerged adults are at greater risk from predators – frogs, spiders, larger dragonflies and birds – because their exoskeletons have not yet hardened.

Did you know?

When Laura’s Clubtail are larvae, they start eating single-celled organisms and move on to tadpoles and small fish as they grow larger. Adults feed on small flying insects.


The Endangered Species Act


Contact your local ministry office


Often the best source of local information on species at risk is your nearest ministry office. Call with your questions or concerns.