This taxon has been named Cordulegaster sarracenia, Sarracenia Spiketail.
Update April 05, 2011: This taxon has been confirmed to be a new species to Science, and the paper describing it will be published by John Abbott in the next 2 or 3 months. This season it was found to be flying from mid-March, and a few new sites were located, including some in Louisiana. I've been to the Boykins Springs site twice recently, and seen up to four males and one female present. I've added more photos at the botttom of this page, including a pair in copula.
April 27 2010: A Spiketail species presumed to be new to ScienceCordulegaster sp. novum from east Texas: This discovery was initiated April 17, 2010 by Troy Hibbitts who - with his father Terry - photographed a male and female Spiketail at Boykin Springs, Jasper/Angelina counties that did not seem to match any known taxon. John Abbott, Nick Donnelly (who happened to be visiting John Abbott) and Dennis Paulson all examined the photos and tentatively agreed that it appeared to be something entirely new.
John, Nick, his lovely wife Elsa, and Greg Lasley went to the location, and I joined them there. On the first day Nick caught a male specimen, and the next day I caught a second male (now with John Abbott at the UT Collection); a few days later Troy returned to the area and managed to catch the first female (also at the UT Collection).
You can see Troy's photos and account of this event by clicking here.
You can see Greg Lasley's photos and account of this event by clicking on this link.
While researching this event it was discovered that a male from Anderson county of this undescribed taxon had been submitted to Odonata Central as C. maculata just a few days prior to Troy's discovery ; click here to see the OC entry.
As word spread of this event, it was further discovered that a male of the new taxon had been photographed in Tyler county in late March 2009 and identified as C. maculata; see the OC entry by clicking here.
Comparing this taxon to known Spiketails it seems closest to Say's Spiketail C. sayi - a rare early-flying species restricted to the forested sandhills of northern Florida and southern Georgia. There are a number of notable morphological and behavioral/habitat features of this taxon observed thus far - but I prefer not to elaborate on such matters until a formal description is published.
This is the only individual that I have managed to get in-the-field images of - a female that just eluded capture:
This is the first specimen (caught by Nick Donnelly) - a male:
- and here is the same individual (right) compared to a Twin-spotted Spiketail C. maculata (left) caught by John Abbott c. 60 yards away and c.90 minutes earlier:
- in the image below the C. maculata is on the right:
This is the second specimen (caught by Martin Reid) - a male: