The Dragonflies and Damselflies of North Carolina
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North Carolina's 187 Odonate species

Sort Species by: Family   Scientific Name       [ Undocumented ]
Related Species in LIBELLULIDAE: Number of records for 2019 = 6

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e.g., flight data, high counts, and earliest/latest dates can be seen.
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Ruby Meadowhawk (Sympetrum rubicundulum) main photo: John Petranka; larger inset photo: Scott King. 2015-08-21 Rice County, MN; smaller inset photo: Curt Oien
Compare with: Autumn Meadowhawk   White-faced Meadowhawk   Band-winged Meadowhawk   Cherry-faced Meadowhawk  
Identification Tips: Move the cursor over the image, or tap the image if using a mobile device, to reveal ID Tips.
Note: these identification tips apply specifically to mature males; features may differ in immature males and females.
Male White-faced, Cherry-faced, and Ruby Meadowhawks cannot be identified reliably without a clear closeup photo of the hamule; see inset photo below.

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mapClick on county for list of all its records for Ruby Meadowhawk
distribution Throughout the mountains and foothills of the Piedmont, and also present in the northern half of the Piedmont; records south to Wake, Chatham, Davie, and Rutherford counties. Apparently absent from the southeastern portion of the Piedmont and all of the Coastal Plain.
abundance Fairly common, to locally common, in the mountains; uncommon in the foothills, but rare in the northern Piedmont east to Caswell and Guilford counties, and apparently very rare east to Wake County. Surprisingly there seems to be only one recent record for the Piedmont east of the foothills, suggesting a population decline there.
flight Unlike most other meadowhawks, this species flies mainly in summer. The mountain flight occurs from mid-May to late September. The Piedmont flight is similar -- late May to early October.
habitat Mainly breeds at temporary pools and ponds, marshes, and other small bodies of water.
behavior Adults forage away from these small pools, perching on twigs and other vegetation, often fairly low.
comments Considering the bright red color of the males, its habit of perching in somewhat conspicuous places, and its flight in the middle of the season when many people are out looking for odonates, the species is only infrequently reported away from the mountains, thus "corroborating" that it is definitely not a numerous dragonfly in most of the Piedmont. In fact, the great increase in the number of odonate watchers in the Piedmont strongly indicates that the species has declined east of the mountains, as Cuyler's many collections from the Piedmont have not been backed up by recent photos and observations. In this latter region, it is clearly outnumbered by Autumn and Blue-faced meadowhawks. Fortunately, it can be quite numerous in the mountains, and there are a few daily counts there of at least 30 individuals.
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S_rank S4
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G_rank G5
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Species account update: LeGrand

Photo Gallery for Ruby Meadowhawk

Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo by: John Petranka

Comment: Watauga, 2018-08-05, Elk Knob State Park, small marshy pond. Elevation ca. 4,400ft. - 7 males, 1 female including mating pair in wheel.
Photo by: Owen McConnell

Comment: Graham, 2018-07-02, Tulula Wetlands - female
Photo by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Buncombe, 2017-09-22, Carrier Park, Asheville, 35.56731° N 82.56887° W - Male
Photo by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Buncombe, 2017-09-22, Carrier Park, Asheville, 35.56731° N 82.56887° W - Male
Photo by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Buncombe, 2017-08-06, Carrier Park, Asheville - Male
Photo by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt

Comment: Alleghany, 2016-09-07, Pond along Blue Ridge Parkway about 4.3 mi. north of US 21. Junction of BRP with Mountain View Rd. (State Rd. 1463). Photo.
Photo by: Timothy Deering

Comment: Buncombe, 2016-06-16, Roberts Pond, Alexander
Photo by: Doug Johnston, Vin Stanton

Comment: Graham, 2013-07-16, Tallulah Bog - Male & Fenale
Photo by: Vin Stanton, Doug Johnston, Gail Lankford, Janie Owen

Comment: Madison, 2012-06-15, North of Hot Springs on River Road-French Broad River
Photo by: Jeff Covert

Comment: Burke; M, 2011-07-28, Blue Ridge Parkway
Photo by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Henderson, 2011-06-15, Imaged at Fletcher Park, large field away from water - M
Photo by: Doug Johnston

Comment: Buncombe, 2010-07-06, - Beaver Lake, Asheville
Photo by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Henderson, 2009-08-30, Imaged at Fletcher Park - imaged 8/30/2009
Photo by: Owen McConnell

Comment: Graham, 2009-07-28, - female
Photo by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Watauga Co., 2007-07-12, male
Photo by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Ashe Co., 2006-08-06, male
Photo by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Ashe Co., 2006-07-27, female