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Ospreys are an indicator species. The health of their population has implications for the health our coastal ecosystems.

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New Jersey Endangered and Threatened Species Field Guide

Image of An adult female cobra clubtail.Zoom+ An adult female cobra clubtail. © Ann Johnson

Cobra clubtail

Gomphus vastus

Species Group: Invertebrate

Conservation Status

State: Special Concern



The cobra clubtail can reach between 2.0”-2.1”. They are dark brown with pale yellow to greenish markings on their body and bright green eyes. The females are almost similar in appearance but have slightly smaller clubs and thicker abdomens.

Image of Range of the cobra clubtail in New Jersey.Zoom+ Range of the cobra clubtail in New Jersey.


The cobra clubtail inhabits large rivers that have ample mud substrates and are found along the Delaware River in the Ridge & Valley and Piedmont regions in New Jersey. Their full range is from southwestern Maine to Minnesota and south to northern Florida, Texas and Alabama.


Nymphs feed upon a variety of aquatic life. Adults feed on other invertebrates.


There are few records of the cobra clubtail in New Jersey. What is known suggests a short flight season limited to June after emergence in late May


Due to lack of information about this species and its rarity the cobra clubtail is considered a species of Special Concern in New Jersey.

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 Larissa Smith in 2011.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Arthropoda
       Class: Insecta
          Order: Odonata
             Family: Gomphidae
                Genus: Gomphus
                   Species: G. vastus

Find Related Info: Invertebrates, Special concern

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