17 Types of Yellow Dragonflies (& Their Spiritual Meanings)

Dragonflies are rarely plain yellow, though some juvenile males maybe this color. Some dragonflies have yellow shades or stripes, paired with other colors.

Have you recently seen a yellow dragonfly and you want to identify it? Are you wondering what it means if you see a yellow dragonfly? Continue reading to find out more.

Types of Yellow Dragonflies

There are several dragonflies in the United States that have yellow. These include:

1. Black-shouldered Spinyleg

Black-shouldered Spinyleg

This dragonfly (Dromogomphus spinosus) is often called the Clubtail dragonfly. They have front thoracic stripes that are bold and fused, which makes it look as though they have black shoulders. They have long legs with numerous spines. They can grow to 2.6 inches.

The black-shouldered spinyleg has a yellow face and green eyes. The head is small when compared to the size of the body. There is a T mark on the top of the thorax with a dash on either side. The thorax is yellow and connected to the shoulder stripes.

The abdomen is black with a yellow lance-shaped spot on the second to seventh segments. There are also yellow patches that can be seen on the side of the seventh to ninth segments.

2. Dragonhunter

Dragonhunter

This (Hagenius brevistylus) is a large dragonfly that can grow to 3.3 inches (8cm). It is black and yellow with green eyes. The male curls its abdomen when in flight, forming a J shape. As nymphs, they are flat with wide bodies.

As adults, they feed on large insects, ambushing their prey from above.

3. Flag-tailed Spinyleg

Flag-tailed Spinyleg

This brightly-colored club-tailed dragonfly (Dromogomphus spoliatus) has long hind legs. It is orange and looks large when you look from the side. Though it looks significantly smaller when viewed from the top. They have a yellow-green thorax with dark stripes. The abdomen has black rings.

They are common in western Ohio, eastern Kansas, and south to the Gulf of Mexico. They are commonly encountered from June to August.

4. Swift River Cruiser

Swift River Cruiser

This (Macromia illinoiensis) is a lender and long dragonfly. It is dark brown with long wings and green eyes. There is a single yellow stripe on the side of the thorax. These are strong flyers and are often seen on the shore of lakes, rivers, and streams.

The Swift River Cruiser can grow to three inches. They have a brown face with a yellow cross line and yellow spots. The legs are black, as is the abdomen. The abdomen has a yellow ring, which is found on the second segment. There are yellow triangles on the third and fourth segments.

5. Cobra Clubtail

Cobra Clubtail

The Cobra Clubtail (Gomphurus vastus) is a common dragonfly, medium in size, and semi-aquatic. They are common in the east of the Great Plains and adjacent to Canadian provinces. They are often encountered at large rivers with a rapid current.

This dragonfly can grow to 5.7cm in length with a 6.6cm wing span. The body is black with yellow or green markings. They have a small head with yellow face, which has a black stripe. The area behind the green compound eyes is yellow.

The cobra clubtail has a black thorax with yellow to pale green stripes. Younger adults have bright yellow markings. The abdomen is black with pale markings. The upper surface of segments one to seven has yellow triangular spots.

The wings are clear with a yellow tinge at the base. They are commonly seen around large lakes, rivers, and streams.

6. Common Sanddragon

Common Sanddragon

This dragonfly (Progomphus obscurus) is always found near moving water, close to creeks, rivers, and streams. They spend their time flying around the water searching for prey. They are often seen resting on logs, branches, rocks, and boulders.

The female is dark brown and slender, while the male has a bulge at the tip of the abdomen. There is a yellow mark at the top of each segment. They have a yellow face with large eyes, located on the sides of the head.

The thorax has diagonal stripes on the sides in brown, blue, or yellow.

7. Plains Clubtail

Plains Clubtail

The adult Plains Clubtail (Gomphurus externus) is a medium-sized dragonfly that can grow to 6cm in length. They are brown-black with yellow faces. There are yellow stripes behind the head and on the side of the thorax. The wings are clouded in yellow.

The abdomen is black with a line of yellow dashes on the top. This dragonfly prefers moderately flowing rivers and large streams, sometimes they are seen near lakes with muddy bottoms.

They fly from mid-July to mid-August. They are also seen in early April. In Wisconsin, they are recorded from early June to mid-July.

8. Saffron-winged Meadowhawk

Saffron-winged Meadowhawk

The Saffron-winged Meadowhawk (Sympetrum costiferum) belongs to the Sympetrum family and is commonly found across the northern and central United States. It has a yellow-brown abdomen, which turns red at maturity.

The females and juveniles both have gold-colored wing stripes. The male and female have red to orange veins on their wings. The abdomen has side triangular markings. The legs are black and yellow stripes.

They can grow to 3.5cm in length and are commonly seen from California to British Columbia and New York to Montana, usually in lower elevations.

9. Pacific Clubtail

Pacific Clubtail

The Pacific Clubtail (Phanogomphus kurilis) belongs to the Gomphidae family, commonly seen in the western United States. They grow to two inches in length with males and females being similar in color.

This dragonfly has a green face with blue eyes, black legs, and a black abdomen with yellow on the top of each segment. There are large yellow spots found under the eighth and ninth abdominal segments.

They are found in small and isolated populations in northern California, the Oregon coast, and Washington. It has been identified as a species of Greatest Conservation need.

10. Black Petaltail

Black Petaltail

The Black Petaltail (Tanypteryx hageni) belongs to the Petaluridae family and is native to the Pacific Northwest of North America. It is a large dragonfly with the end of the abdomen on the male resembling a flower petal.

They are common in western North America and have an aquatic juvenile stage. They are often seen in bogs, near springs, and small streams. This dragonfly can grow to 5.9cm in length in males and 5.5cm in females.

It is a distinctive dragonfly with black and yellow on the head, thorax, and abdomen. It has a yellow face with two yellow spots between the well-separated eyes.

11. Royal River Cruiser

Royal River Cruiser

The Royal River Cruiser (Macromia taeniolata) is a large and metallic dragonfly. They are black and can grow to 3.6 inches in length. The abdomen has yellow spots on the dorsal side. The female has yellow-tinted wings, which change to brown with age.

This dragonfly has green wings. They are common in the eastern and southern United States and are often seen in clean rivers, lakes, and streams.

12. Arrowhead Spiketail

Arrowhead Spiketail

The Arrowhead Spiketail dragonfly (Cordulegaster obliqua) is common throughout North America, often found in clearings close to rivers and streams. This dragonfly has arrow-shaped yellow markings on the dorsal side. The abdomen is black or brown.

They have green eyes. They can grow to 9cm in length. You will see this dragonfly from April to August.

13. Grappletail

Grappletail

The Grappletail dragonfly (Octogomphus specularis) is a clubtail dragonfly, common throughout North America. It has not been observed in British Columbia for more than forty years but was re-discovered in 2020.

This is a very slender dragonfly that grows to 5.3cm in length. It is yellow to pale green on the top and sides of the thorax with a black stripe between them. The abdomen is black with a pale strip between the abdominal segments.

14. Twin-spotted Spiketail

Twin-spotted Spiketail

The Twin-spotted Spiketail (Cordulegaster maculata) belongs to the Cordulegastridae family and can grow to 7cm in length. It was first described in 1854. This dragonfly can be identified by the short yellow spots on the abdomen. The male has a yellow face and the female has a brown face.

The further north you go, you will see that this dragonfly is black with bright yellow. They also have sea-green eyes. In the south, they are brown with pale yellow. They are commonly seen near forest streams and rivers, along with trout streams.

15. Delta-spotted Spiketail

Delta-spotted Spiketail

This dragonfly (Cordulegaster diastatops) is common in North America and can grow to 6cm in length. It belongs to the Cordulegastridae family with a stable population. It has green eyes, which almost touch each other.

The thorax is dark with two to three yellow stripes. There are yellow triangular spots on the dark abdomen. They are commonly seen in the northeastern United States and southwestern Canada, where they rely on flying insects as food.

16. Pacific Spiketail

Pacific Spiketail

The Pacific Spiketail dragonfly (Cordulegaster dorsalis) is black and yellow with a long abdomen. They have small eyes. This dragonfly is a strong flier and will hang at a forty-five-degree angle when perched.

It is the only dragonfly in Western Montana that has a black abdomen with yellow spots. You will observe them in clear and shaded foothills, mountain streams, forest openings, and brushy ravines.

17. Brimstone Clubtail

Stylurus intricatus
Brimstone Clubtail. Image by nmoorhatch via inaturalist

The Brimstone Clubtail (Stylurus intricatus) belongs to the Gomphidae family and is common in North America. It has been listed as a Species of Concern in Montana, due to the declining population numbers. It has a stable population throughout the rest of the country.

This dragonfly can grow to 5.5cm in length and is found in shady-bottomed prairie rivers. This is a pale-colored clubtail, mostly yellow or green and it is not easy to spot. They are often seen from June to September.

Yellow Dragonfly Spiritual Meanings

The dragonfly is a beautiful winged insect that has fascinated people for many years. The dragonfly spirit animal is a powerful totem, it symbolizes opportunity, transformation, ancient wisdom, and spontaneity.

A yellow dragonfly symbolizes creativity, wealth, joy, and optimism. Seeing a yellow dragonfly could mean you have found your creative path or you are on your way to financial rewards. It means keep doing what you love doing. In essence, it represents you and how you assert yourself.

1. Youthful Exuberance

Seeing a yellow dragonfly is a sign of youthful exuberance. It reminds you of the energy you have within you. It doesn’t matter how tired you feel at times. Seeing a yellow dragonfly reminds you to look into your inner vitality.

It encourages you to consider how you use your intellect and willpower, and how you produce positive changes in your own life and the life of others.

2. Tap Into Your Higher Power

A yellow dragonfly encourages you to tap into your higher power, enabling you to use your will to bring yourself happiness. It doesn’t matter how painful or frustrating life is, the yellow dragonfly reminds you that you are doing good.

3. Structure and Determination

Any dragonfly is an expert hunter, they can rest in stillness until the right moment comes along. They then seize the opportunity. They are patient, they know what they want, and they know what they need to do to get it.

A yellow dragonfly can teach you to master your willpower, helping you to become patient and eliminate your impulsive nature. The yellow dragonfly shows you that you need to create habits and daily practices to help you tune into your wisdom, by creating structures to enhance your willpower.

Through the strengthening of your focus, you boost your confidence when it comes to making important decisions. This wonderful flying insect shows you that through structure and routine, you can create a positive cycle.

4. Sharing a Message

Many believe that a yellow dragonfly will appear before you to share a message. This insect has a high vibration and is sensitive to the energy around them. Many believe that when a yellow dragonfly enters their space, it is a spirit sending them a message.

The message is to give you encouragement, protection, inspiration, and comfort. They show up when your spirit guide is near. They are attracted to your vitality and high vibrations.

5. Positive Blessings

Your home is your own sacred space. It is a place where you can be yourself. When a yellow dragonfly enters your home, it represents happiness, self-awareness, domestic harmony, protection, and peace. It is a positive sign that brings blessings into your life.

6. Something is About to Come to an End

If you have recently come across a dead yellow dragonfly it represents a time of metamorphosis and transformation. It means the end of one thing and a new beginning. This could be the end of a relationship, a job, or a certain chapter in your life.

7. Harmony and Rest

A yellow dragonfly has four wings, bringing the spiritual energy of the number four. The four wings enable dragonflies to be fast when hunting, it enables them to hover in one place and provides them with agility, which enables them to fly in four directions.

The spiritual meaning for you is perfection, a period of rest, completion, and harmony. The number four is a stabilizing energy, giving you the foundations to start the next project or aim for a new goal.

Summary

A yellow dragonfly is beautiful, it’s fast, and it’s clever. It enables you to observe and reflect on your spiritual journey. It helps you find the balance you need between taking action and sitting still. Whether you have recently seen a yellow dragonfly in your yard, at home, or when out walking, it represents transformation through self-awareness.

The yellow dragonfly also represents confidence, helping you grow and conquer any goals in front of you. It helps you build your self-confidence and self-awareness. The dragonfly can give you focus, strength, and willpower to achieve your goals, no matter what they are.

Everyone has their interpretation of the spiritual significance of a yellow dragonfly. It’s important to decide what seeing a yellow dragonfly meant to you.┬áIt could represent that you must learn your limits, a time of transformation, or self-reflection. It could promote your willpower and determination in achieving goals.

A yellow dragonfly can represent confidence, expansion, intuitive development, emotional intelligence, and action after introspection.

Most of the yellow dragonflies you will encounter are juvenile males, though some take on the yellow in their body coloration. The yellow can be vibrant or pale, depending on the season, location, and age of the dragonfly.

It is very uncommon to encounter a pure yellow dragonfly. Most of the species in North America will have yellow stripes or markings on a dark background. There are those with yellow faces, others with yellow and black stripes, and others with yellow triangular spots.

Seeing a yellow dragonfly is always a positive sign. It provides you with a chance to sit and watch this insect in wonder as it moves around, hovering above plants to capture prey or simply resting to wait patiently for prey to pass. They provide you with a chance to sit quietly, immerse yourself in your thoughts and help you build the patients and confidence you need to achieve your goals.