Above image courtesy of Erland Refling Nielson

Grand Canyon Masked Clubskimmer

Scientific Name

Odanata: Libellulidae - Brechmorhoga pertinax

History and distribution

Discovered in the Grand Canyon in 2003, Brechmorhoga pertinax is a species more commonly found in Central America. The specimen found in springfed streams from Nankoweap and Stone Creek represents the only breeding population in the United States. The type specimen of masked clubskimmer was collected in Central America, and prior to its discovery in Grand Canyon, this species was only known from two specimens that were thought to have blown in to the U.S. from Mexico. Thus, the Grand Canyon population is an extremely isolated population and genetic analyses are being undertaken to determine whether the Grand Canyon specimen represents a subspecies.


The masked clubskimmer is a large, showy dragonfly. Large bodied, it takes its common name from the widening, club-like segment of its abdominal region.