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 CALOPTERYGIDAE: Number of records for 2019 = 2

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American Rubyspot (Hetaerina americana) by John Petranka
Compare with: Smoky Rubyspot  
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Note: these identification tips apply specifically to mature males; features may differ in immature males and in females.

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mapClick on county for list of all its records for American Rubyspot
distribution Throughout the mountains, presumably throughout the Piedmont, and the western third of the Coastal Plain, including the Sandhills. Absent from the eastern 60-65% of the Coastal Plain; absence of records from much of the western Piedmont is likely due to poor survey coverage.
abundance Common to locally abundant in the mountains, and also in the eastern Piedmont, near the Fall Line. Seemingly quite rare in the western half of the Piedmont, for unknown reasons. Also, rare (or very uncommon) in the western Coastal Plain/Sandhills.
flight Late April to early November in the Piedmont; apparently slightly shorter flight period in the mountains -- mid-May to late October. Coastal Plain flight period probably is similar to that of the Piedmont, though currently we have flight dates only from early June to mid-October.
habitat Rocky streams and rivers, generally where clear and with moderate current.
behavior Typically seen perched on rocks or stems/twigs very close to the river or large stream, often in somewhat open/sunny conditions.
comments There are a number of daily counts over 75 individuals, and a few over 500 individuals; yet the range is rather puzzling. Some of these high counts are close to the Fall Line, and others are in the mountains. Yet, how can there be no records at all, much less counts of over 10 individuals, from essentially any foothills county or other counties nearby in the Piedmont? It would seem that there are plenty of suitable rocky streams and rivers in this area. This species is one of the larger and more beautiful of the damselfies, with the deep red/crimson color of the thorax and wing bases of the adult males being quite spectacular in sunlight.
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G_rank G5
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Species account update: LeGrand

Photo Gallery for American Rubyspot

Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo by: Mike Turner

Comment: Stanly, 2018-08-31, Rocky River @ NC 138
Photo by: Scott Pohlman

Comment: Lee, 2018-08-29, totals from islands and shoals within the Deep River, and not on riverbanks - 'dozens' reported
Photo by: Mike Turner

Comment: Caswell, 2018-08-28, Dan River @ NC 57
Photo by: Mike Turner

Comment: Montgomery, 2018-08-25, Uwharrie River @ Low Water Bridge
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Anson, 2018-07-06, Pee Dee River; 2 km stretch upstream from Diggs Tract Access, by kayak
Photo by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Harnett; P, 2017-07-29, - RARO - Junction of Campbell Creek and the Cape Fear
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Harnett; C, 2017-07-21, Cape Fear River, Erwin. From NC 217 bridge to 2 km upstream, by kayak. - Abundant
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Mitchell, 2017-06-03, Nolichucky River at Poplar Access Area - females
Photo by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Union, 2017-05-15, Rocky River at Randolph Landing, Rocky River Blueway Access and Nature Park
Photo by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt

Comment: Alleghany, 2016-09-06, New River State Park at King
Photo by: John Petranka

Comment: Durham, 2015-05-27, West Point on the Eno Park - On rocks near riffles.
Photo by: John Petranka

Comment: Orange, 2014-07-14, Eno River State Park (ENRI). Pleasant Green Access. - Male
Photo by: Owen McConnell

Comment: Graham, 2014-07-08, Cheoah River at the whitewater input ramp
Photo by: Vin Stanton, Doug Johnston

Comment: Haywood, 2011-06-08, imaged at Lake Junaluska
Photo by: Vin Stanton, Doug Johnston

Comment: Madison, 2011-06-05, Imaged on French Broad River - numerous M & F
Photo by: Doug Johnston

Comment: Madison, 2010-09-14, South Madison county, Sandy Mush Creek - 1 female, 2 males
Photo by: Doug Johnston

Comment: Buncombe, 2010-08-15, A rubyspots are common in the Sandy Mush and Turkey creek watersheds - Turkey creek, North Buncombe county
Photo by: E. Corey

Comment: Alleghany, 2007-07-13, NERI - Observed during Hellbender Week, 09Jul through 13Jul
Photo by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Alleghany, 2007-06-06, male
Photo by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Alleghany, 2007-06-06, female
Photo by: E. Corey

Comment: Alleghany, 2007-07-13, male (by red thorax)