White-belted ringtail (Erpetogomphus compositus)

Close up of a white-belted ringtail dragonfly with its banded tail arched over its head
Note the striped tail arched over this dragonfly's head. (William Leonard)
Category: Other insects
State status: Candidate
Vulnerability to climate change (More details)


If you see this species, please share your observation using the WDFW wildlife reporting tool or email us at  wildlife.data@dfw.wa.gov. Be sure to include a photo of the species for verification and location (latitude/longitude coordinates) of your observation. 

This insect is one of three dragonflies in the Gomphidae family that are identified as "species of greatest conservation need" (SGCN) in Washington due to the small number of isolated populations and continued threats to their habitat.

Climate vulnerability

Sensitivity to climate change


There is little information on the sensitivity of this species to climate change, but similar to the Pacific clubtail, it is likely influenced by air temperature, water temperature, and shifting flow regimes. Temperature is known to influence the phenology, development, behavior and other characteristics of dragonflies, and warming temperatures (both air and water) will likely impact this species during various life stages. Hydrological changes (e.g., reduced stream flows) and drought may degrade or reduce aquatic habitat available for this species and/or compound increases in water temperature. White-belted ringtail is also likely sensitive to disturbance events (e.g., fire, floods) that reduce riparian vegetation, which eliminates stream shade and foraging and roosting sites for adults, and/or that increase siltation, which can kill larvae.

Confidence: Low

Exposure to climate change


  • Increased air and water temperatures
  • Altered flow regimes (low summer flows and increased winter flooding)
  • Altered fire regimes
Confidence: Low


This species is identified as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) under the State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP). SGCN-classified species include both those with and without legal protection status under the Federal or State Endangered Species programs, as well as game species with low populations. The WDFW SWAP is part of a nationwide effort by all 50 states and five U.S. territories to develop conservation action plans for fish, wildlife and their natural habitats—identifying opportunities for species' recovery before they are imperiled and more limited.