Common baskettail

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Common baskettail
Dragonfly ran-4748 Epitheca cynosura.jpg
Scientific classification
E. cynosura
Binomial name
Epitheca cynosura
(Say, 1839)[1]
North America Range Epitheca cynosura.svg
Range of E. cynosura[2]

Tetragoneuria cynosura [1]

The common baskettail (Epitheca cynosura) is a dragonfly of the Corduliidae family. The thorax is brown and hairy. Some specimens have a triangular spot at the base of the hindwing.[3] Individuals are difficult to distinguish from the other species in this genus. The caudal appendages (structures at the tip of the abdomen) differ between the species and can be compared with known drawings or close-up photos.[4] Their flight season can begin as early as January and extends to August. They may also be seen October to December in north Florida.[5]


Female, Ottawa, Ontario

This is the most common baskettail within its range, hence the name. The scientific name, cynosura, means dog tail, and possibly refers to way the cerci at the end of the abdomen curve outward like a dog wagging its tail one way then the other.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Epitheca cynosura". Integrated Taxonomic Information System.
  2. ^ "Distribution Viewer". OdonataCentral. Retrieved 7 December 2009.
  3. ^ Abbott, John C. (2005). Dragonflies and Damselflies of Texas and the South-Central United States. Princeton University Press. p. 226. ISBN 0-691-11364-5.
  4. ^ Donnelly, Nick. "Notes on Epitheca". OdonataCentral. Retrieved 2 December 2009.
  5. ^ Dunkle, Sidney W. (2000). Dragonflies Through Binoculars. Oxford University Press. pp. 142–143. ISBN 0-19-511268-7.
  6. ^ Paulson, Dennis R; Dunkle, Sidney W (14 April 2009). "A Checklist of North American Odonata": 50.

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