DragonflyPix

Onychogomphus costae

• Scientific name: Onychogomphus costae Selys, 1885
• English name: Faded Pincertail
• German name: Braune Zangenlibelle
• French name: Gomphe de Coste
• Dutch name: Moorse tanglibel
• Swedish name: N/A
• Norwegian name: N/A
• Finnish name: N/A
• Danish name: N/A
• Italian name: N/A
• Czech name: N/A
• Slovenian name: N/A
• Bulgarian name: N/A
• Typical length: 43-46 mm
• Hindwing: 22-27 mm

Onychogomphus costae

Distribution map

Map data based on J.-P. Boudot & V. J. Kalkman (eds.),
Atlas of the European Dragonflies and Damselflies

The Faded Pincertail has a very limited range; it only occurs in North-Africa and in Iberia. At the third time of asking we managed to find and photograph the species in Spain in July 2011, and then again in June 2012 and June 2015. Onychogomphus costae is a small and highly inconspicuous species whose main line of defence against predators would seem to be camouflage; even from three feet away the animals are virtually invisible against a background of sand and dried grasses. The species' most distinguishing features include its colouration of off-whites, sandy yellows, beige and brown, its small size (comparable to Paragomphus genei), and the shape of the male's appendages, with the upper appendages much longer than the deeply incised lower appendage. Also striking is the tuft of white hairs underneath the male's seventh abdominal segment. Photographing Onychogomphus costae proved to be quite a back-breaking task; the individuals we saw invariably rested close to the ground, perching on low vegetation or, rarely, on rocks.

Line DrawingLineDrawing: the male's head, thorax and abdomen in lateral view.

Click on a thumbnail to display the photograph (at 1200 x 800 pixels) in a new window.

1 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1562 04/07/2011 11:51 Spagna F8 1/500 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
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6 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1567 26/06/2012 10:20 Spagna F8 1/500 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
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12 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1573 26/06/2012 10:49 Spagna F8 1/400 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
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16 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1577 08/06/2015 16:41 Spagna F8 1/1250 180mm ISO800 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
17 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1578 26/06/2012 11:00 Spagna F8 1/500 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
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19 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1580 09/07/2011 11:51 Spagna F8 1/400 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
20 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1581 26/06/2012 11:49 Spagna F8 1/320 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF