Habitats of North Carolina
Habitat Group:
Habitat Type:
Members of Lotic Habitats:
« »
Lotic Habitats
Piedmont and General Rocky Rivers
Habitat Overview This habitat is defined by aquatic to semi-aquatic species that are associated with rivers that possess extensive areas of riffles: there must be at least a moderate current and plentiful rocks present. All species in this habitat must be able to cope with the scouring action of the rivers.

The Odonates included in this habitat perch as adults on exposed rocks located well out in the water. Foraging and mating take place in the vicinity of the riffles. Nymphs of Neurocordulia are rock-clingers (also clinging to roots and woody debris) (Tennessen, 2018) and may therefore also stick close to the riffles. So may the nymphs of the two damselflies, who live within aquatic vegetation (Schwiebert, 2007). The nymphs of the Gomphurus species, on the other hand, may reside in substrates located away from the rocks. Gomphurus nymphs are burrowers who live in substrates -- sometimes buried quite deeply -- ranging from sand, silt, gravel, and mud (Tennessen, 2018). All of these species generally require the well-oxygenated waters associated with riffle habitats and are usually found only in unpolluted rivers.

Virtually all examples of this habitat occur west of the Fall-line and include species that occur in both the Piedmont and Mountains or in the Piedmont alone. Species restricted to the cooler rivers of the mountains are treated in the Montane Rocky Rivers habitat.

Related NHP Natural Communities Only a single NHP Natural Community (Schafale and Weakley, 1990; Schafale, 2012) intersects this habitat: Rocky Bar and Shore. Most of the subtypes of this community represent shoreline vegetation or that found on gravel and sand bars and can be found along non-rocky rivers and streams. Two subtypes that include riffle species more specifically are the Riverweed Subtype and Water Willow Subtype.
Defining Species
Taxa Global RankState RankImperilment ScoreHabitat Risk Index
Calopteryx angustipennis - Appalachian Jewelwing G4S3S41.270.3750
Gomphurus fraternus - Midland Clubtail G5S15.390.8300
Gomphurus lineatifrons - Splendid Clubtail G4S23.330.6650
Gomphurus septima - Septima's Clubtail G3S37.800.5000
Gomphurus vastus - Cobra Clubtail G5S3S41.080.3750
Hetaerina americana - American Rubyspot G5S51.000.0000
Hylogomphus abbreviatus - Spine-crowned Clubtail G4S31.750.5000
Neurocordulia virginiensis - Cinnamon Shadowdragon G4S16.330.8300
Carex torta - Twisted Sedge G5S31.490.5000
Dolomedes scriptus - Striped fishing spider G5S3S41.080.3750
Harperella nodosa - Harperella G2S124.760.8300
Justicia americana - American Water-willow G5S4S51.000.1250
Podostemum ceratophyllum - Hornleaf Riverweed G5S51.000.0000
Solidago plumosa - Yadkin River Goldenrod G1S147.050.8300
Sum: 104.33
ENE Value of 6.7350 * (1 - # of S5: 2 / # Species 14) = 5.77
Average of 14: 7.45

Candidates for Inclusion
Habitat Sub-sets
Distribution Map
Survey Coverage Map
Survey Coverage
Survey Priorities
Average Imperilment of Habitat Members
Habitat Conservation Status
High Quality Habitat Occurrence Table
High Quality Habitat Occurrences
Protected Habitat Occurrences
Threats and Trends
Status Summary
Stewardship Recommendations
References Schwiebert, E., 2007. Nymphs, Stoneflies, Caddisflies, and Other Important Insects: Including The Lesser Mayflies (Vol. 2). Rowman & Littlefield.

Tennessen, K.J., 2018. Dragonfly Nymphs of North America: An Identification Guide. Springer.
Updated on 2019-09-08 18:48:50