Brechmorhoga mendax
Pale-faced Clubskimmer is an enigmatic cruiser over rapids and riffles in fast-flowing foothill streams. It is currently known from Monterey County by a single record (shown here).

Manolis (2003) has a fine description of this southwestern species: "These have been described as among the most graceful of our dragonflies. In late morning, males cruise regular beats low over streams, foraging, waiting for females, and chasing intruders. They seem in continual motion, never stopping to sit on sunny rocks as a clubtail would."

So far, Pale-faced Clubskimmer has been found only once in the county: on 5 Aug 2006 over the Arroyo Seco River, adjacent to Arroyo Seco Campground (Don Roberson, Rita Carratello). The photos on this page are of that male as it patrolled a long territory over the swift-flowing river. [It was no easy task obtaining these flight shots!]

Pale-faced Clubskimmer has a 'clubbed tail' (expanded abdominal segments 7 through 9), as do members of the family Gomphidae. But gomphids (clubtails, ringtails, snaketails etc.) do not have eyes that touch each other, as does this Clubskimmer, which is in the skimmer family Libellulidae. It is a fast-moving clear-winged dragonfly with a large white spot on segment 7, a gray thorax with two white stripes, dark eyes, and a pale face. Females are similar but lack the 'clubbed' tip to the abdomen.

The map shows the only location currently known for Pale-faced Clubskimmer: the Arroyo Seco River near Arroyo Seco Campground.

The only MTY record to date was in early August. Elsewhere in California, flight dates range from April to October (Manolis 2003).

Literature cited:
  • Manolis, T. 2003. Dragonflies and Damselflies of California. Univ. of Calif. Press, Berkeley.
Web resources:
Major identification web sites with much information on California odes include: For sites with excellent photos to compare for identification or to simply enjoy, see: Many of these sites have links to other useful pages. Kathy Biggs's site is particularly useful in her selection of links.

All photos © Don Roberson 2007


Page created 21 Mar 2007