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 LESTIDAE: Number of records for 2020 = 0

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Elegant Spreadwing (Lestes inaequalis) by Mike Turner
Compare with: Amber-winged Spreadwing   Swamp Spreadwing  
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 in females.

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mapClick on county for list of all its records for Elegant Spreadwing
flight charts
distribution Throughout the Coastal Plain -- except perhaps absent along parts of the immediate coast -- westward to the central Piedmont; thus, the eastern half of the state, plus a scattering of mountain records. Interestingly, Paulson's (2011) range map shows the entire state within the range, as the species is present throughout the eastern half of the country. With the recent mountain records, it must be assumed to occur in the intervening western half of the Piedmont, as well. A recent (2018) sight record, of five individuals, from Alleghany County is the only record for the northwestern quarter of the state.
abundance Despite records for most of the counties within the range (52 counties), we have barely 20 recent records. Thus, it seems to be uncommon over the eastern Piedmont and most of the Coastal Plain, and likely is rare in many areas close to the coast (where there are no records for most counties that border the coast). Very rare in the southern mountains, and absent to very rare over the northern mountains and the western Piedmont.
flight The flight period in both the Coastal Plain and the Piedmont is from early May to late September. The relatively few mountain records fall between mid-May and mid-August.
habitat Ponds and lakes with emergent vegetation, including marshes. It also occurs along slow-moving streams, as long as marshy vegetation is present.

See also Habitat Account for General Beaver Ponds and Semi-natural Impoundments
comments The relative scarcity of recent records, especially in the Coastal Plain, is puzzling. Perhaps it is being overlooked, but there are also few biologists currently working in the Coastal Plain, especially on damselflies, and particularly in the northern half of the province.
S_rank S5 [S4S5]
G_rank G5
date_spread [Overwinter:] [Date Spread:] [No Late Date:] [Split on Feb:] [Default:]
Species account update: LeGrand on 2020-01-24 13:37:29

Photo Gallery for Elegant Spreadwing

Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Transylvania, 2018-06-27, Gorges State Park (GORG) - female at Raymond Fisher Pond. First record for county.
Photo by: Barbara McRae

Comment: Macon, 2018-05-15, Franklin, Little Tennessee River, wetland near Greenway - female
Photo by: Barbara McRae

Comment: Macon, 2018-05-13, Franklin, Little Tennessee River, wetland near Greenway - Immature male; ID’d from cerci detail.
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Jones, 2015-07-12, Brock Millpond, Trenton
Photo by: Mike Turner

Comment: Orange, 2013-06-29, Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area - males; lower pond
Photo by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Onslow, 2012-09-04, - Male found in temporary pool along Cowhorn Creek
Photo by: Mike Turner

Comment: Wake, 2012-08-03, Lake Raleigh - 1 each male and female (male photographed)
Photo by: Paul Scharf

Comment: Warren, 2009-07-15, - female, Hubquarter Creek, Lake Gaston. same individual as 478
Photo by: Paul Scharf

Comment: Warren, 2009-07-15, - female, Hubquarter Creek, Lake Gaston. same individual as 477. Comment from Dennis Paulson: "Sometimes it's difficult to distinguish between L. vigilax and L. inaequalis. One of the field marks is the underside of the ovipositor, dark in inaequalis and pale in vigilax. From that alone, yours should be inaequalis. Another field mark is that inaequalis has the outer side of the tibiae pale, and that is evident in the front leg on the side view. L. inaequalis often has a brighter metallic green thorax than vigilax."