Stylurus laurae
Laura's snaketail

Key Characteristics

Total length of 2.4 - 2.6 inches (6.1-6.5 cm). The head is greenish-yellow with a distinct black cross stripe on the face. The dark middorsal thoracic stripe widens anteriorly isolating a pale, smoothly rounded, stripe, that is nearly but not confluent with the pale collar. The antehumeral and humeral stripes are separated by a thin, often interrupted, pale line between them. The rest of the thorax is yellowish green with the remaining lateral stripes present and complete, although the midlateral stripe may be lacking at its lower end. The legs are pale basally becoming black distally. There is a nearly complete yellow middorsal stripe on abdominal segments 1-7.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: SC
  • State Rank: S3
  • Global Rank: G4


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Distribution map for Stylurus laurae

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Lotic - depositional. Well established in sandy-bottomed streams. Adults appear in river/stream/riparian/floodplain corridor. Shallow, well shaded, rivers and streams with cobble, sand or mud substrate. Clean streams with sand-mud bottoms.

Specific Habitat Needs

Sandy substrate needed in Headwater Stream (1st-2nd order), Run

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.


Species is sensitive to continued decrease in water quality. Also affected by impoundments, channelization, dredging, siltation, non-point pollution (agricultural), and industrial pollution. Timber harvests may increase siltation and cause a decrease in dissolved oxygen.

Survey Methods

An exuvia survey consists of searching the banks and protruding rocks of rapid streams for the cast skin of dragonfly larvae. Forages from leaves along forest edges. Males perch mostly on leaves overhanging water, but also briefly on rocks and logs. They arrive at water about 10 am but are most active after 6 pm.

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at [Accessed Aug 18, 2018]


Survey References

Technical References

Facebook link