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New Jersey Endangered and Threatened Species Field Guide


Image of An adult male tiger spiketail.Zoom+ An adult male tiger spiketail. © Allen Barlow

Tiger spiketail

Cordulegaster erronea

Species Group: Invertebrate

Conservation Status

State: Special Concern

 


IDENTIFICATION

The tiger spiketail is New Jersey's only black and yellow dragonfly. It is 2.8” - 3.3” in length with yellow rings around the abdomen. These conspicuous rings are interrupted dorsally by a fine black line. The female is patterned like the male but is usually larger and has a long spike-like ovipositor at the end of the abdomen.

Image of Range of the tiger spiketail in New Jersey.Zoom+ Range of the tiger spiketail in New Jersey.

DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT

The tiger spiketail is a forest insect. It is rarely encountered in open, sun-lit areas. Permanent coldwater forest streams and seepages are the ideal breeding habitat. The presence of skunk cabbage along the stream corridor is an indicator of appropriate habitat. It is currently known to occur in the Highlands, Ridge & Valley and northern Piedmont regions. A single colony was also recently discovered in Camden County.

DIET

Nymphs feed on aquatic invertebrate; adults on flying insects.

LIFE CYCLE

Tiger spiketails are active from mid-June through early September. The emergence period for this species is staggered. Females lay their eggs in streams.

CURRENT STATUS, THREATS, AND CONSERVATION

Due to the rarity of this dragonfly and its habitat, the tiger spiketail is a Special Concern species. Habitat destruction and groundwater disturbance are two of the greatest threats facing this species.


Text derived from the book, Field Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of New Jersey. 2009. By Allen E. Barlow, David M. Golden and Jim Bangma.

Edited and updated by Brian Henderson in 2011.


Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Arthropoda
       Class: Insecta
          Order: Odonata
             Family: Cordulegastridae
                Genus: Cordulegaster
                   Species: C. erronea

Find Related Info: Invertebrates, Special concern

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