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Riffle Snaketail

Riffle Snaketail
Photo Information
Copyright: Denis Doucet (Sawwhet) Silver Note Writer [C: 8 W: 0 N: 92] (409)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-07-05
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D300s, Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4 ED+Nikon TC14EII
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-10-08 17:50
Viewed: 3970
Points: 9
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Riffle Snaketail, Ophiogomphe de Carole
(Ophiogomphus carolus)

Adult size: 40-45 mm

Habitat: This species is mainly associated with shallow riffles in woodland streams (hence its name). Look for it especially along clear, rapid-flow, rocky to sandy-bottomed streams and rivers.

Flight period: In New Brunswick, emerges early in the second week in June in the extreme SW to late June in the N, becomes rare in late July/early August (dates June 8th- August 10th)

ID hints: Best to confirm in hand with the claspers of the male; however, through binoculars, note black legs, usually without any pale parts; sometimes tibiae have a pale stripe (unlike the Brook Snaketail, which generally has pale femora), unmarked pale green face (Boreal Snaketail and Extra-striped Snaketail have black stripes on theirs) and wide yellow stripes all the way down the dorsal surface of the abdomen.

General Nature Notes: Common to abundant along a number of the cleaner, swifter-flowing watercourses in New Brunswick, this is perhaps the most easily spotted of the seven species of Snaketails in our region. This is mainly due to its propensity for perching on stones or boulders, often in mid-stream near riffles, but also along exposed river banks.

In flight, it is often seen flying low above riffles and rapids. Also perches in vegetation along the edge of the watercourse, where it is decidedly better camouflaged, often choosing broad-leaved plants to do so. However, like other members of the genus, will also perch (frequently) in the crown of trees, making it very difficult to locate and belying its actual abundance.

Naturalist John Acorn also mentions regularly spying Snaketails in silhouette perched on broad leaves in the tops of the tree along rivers in Alberta and Saskatchewan. A good hint to their actual abundance is how thickly their exuviae (cast-off larval skins) can be found along some rivers in mid to late June. At this time, a quick pass through the grasses on the edge of the water may quickly fill your hand!

PeakXV, BREARD, flashpoint has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To batu: Vielen Dank Peter!Sawwhet 1 10-09 04:07
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • PeakXV Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 121 W: 0 N: 544] (3135)
  • [2011-10-08 18:18]

Hi Dennis,

Classic pose in this impressive snaketail capture. Beautiful light has produced the purest of hues & the pov is optimum for viewing the full features of this colorful insect. Very well done!



  • Great 
  • BREARD Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 106 W: 1 N: 419] (2141)
  • [2011-10-08 23:23]

Bonjour Denis,
Belle image de cette libellule aux jolies couleurs et à l’excellente netteté.
Les détails sont bien mis en valeur.

Ciao Dennis, great macro of lovely dragonfly, fine details, splendid sharpness and wonderful natural colors, very well done my friend, have a good Sunday, ciao Silvio

  • Good 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2011-10-09 0:09]
  • [+]

Hello Denis,
an attractively composed picture with well balanced colours.
I think that sharpness particularly on the head and parts of the thorax
could be higher. I have difficulties to define the positioning of the focus plane.
Possibly, the sharpness problem is due to slight camera moovement.
Best wishes, Peter

Great focus and colors, awesome subject


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