The Dragonflies and Damselflies of North Carolina
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North Carolina's 187 Odonate species
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Related Species in LESTIDAE: Number of records for 2019 = 4

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e.g., flight data, high counts, and earliest/latest dates can be seen.
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Carolina Spreadwing (Lestes vidua) by Mark Shields
Compare with: Southern 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 Carolina Spreadwing
distribution Restricted to the southern Coastal Plain, north to Scotland, Hoke, Sampson, Onslow, and Carteret counties. However, as Paulson (2011) shows the range of this Southeastern species extending north to the Great Dismal Swamp, VA, area, it might occur elsewhere in the NC Coastal Plain north of the existing range.
abundance Generally rare, but can be very locally abundant close to the coast. Found to be quite abundant at sites in New Hanover, Onslow, and Carteret counties in 2015 and 2016. Beaton (2007) also calls it "Rare to uncommon and local" in GA.
flight Beaton (2007) shows flight dates from mid-March to mid-November for GA, but adds: "Flight season is not fully understood, more readily found during April-May and September-October (especially fall) and largely absent during the middle of the season." Mark Shields found the species to occur in all months of the year at single pond sites in Carteret and Onslow counties, even in the winter months. Very few other odonates can be seen throughout the year.
habitat Edges of lakes and ponds, including temporary ponds. May also occur at freshwater marshes.
behavior According to Beaton (2007), males are usually found over water, perching on plants, while females can be found along the shoreline away from open water.
comments This species clearly deserves some search efforts in North Carolina. Until 2015, it was one of the most poorly-known damselflies in the state, as evidenced by only 12 known records from just six counties prior to that year. As a result, the NC Natural Heritage Program elevated the species from its Watch List to its Rare List in Fall 2012. Thankfully, Mark Shields has found the species to be much less rare than previously thought, and in 2018 the species was moved back to the Watch List. He found the species at clusters of pond sites in Onslow and Carteret counties throughout the year from late 2015 to late 2016, with several triple digit counts! In addition, he found it common in fall 2016 to late 2017 at several ponds in New Hanover County. Andrew Rapp photographed one in Brunswick County in 2016, as well. In 2017, Mark Shields and Hunter Phillips slightly extended the range west to Scotland County; this is our first record from the Sandhills region.
state_status W
S_rank S2?
fed_status
G_rank G5
synonym
other_name
Species account update: LeGrand

Photo Gallery for Carolina Spreadwing

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

Comment: Scotland, 2017-05-15, 17 Frog Pond, Sandhills Game Land - First record for county
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Carteret, 2016-11-28, ponds along Patsy Pond Nature Trail, Croatan National Forest. Photo of mature female.
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: New Hanover, 2016-11-19, limesink ponds at Carolina Beach State Park - 37 lone males, 5 lone females, 2 pairs in tandem. Photo shows a teneral male.
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Carteret, 2016-11-18, ponds along Patsy Pond Nature Trail, Croatan National Forest - 101 single males, 1 single female , and 7 tandem/ovipositing pairs
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2016-11-16, Stones Creek Game Land - 51 males, 3 females, including 1 pair in tandem
Photo by: Andrew Rapp

Comment: Brunswick, 2016-07-31, Ocean Isle Palms; photo on OdonataCentral
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Carteret, 2016-04-11, ponds along Patsy Pond Nature Trail, Croatan National Forest. Photo of immature female.
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Carteret, 2015-11-11, ponds along Patsy Pond Nature Trail, Croatan National Forest
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Carteret, 2015-11-11, ponds along Patsy Pond Nature Trail, Croatan National Forest
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2015-11-06, Stones Creek Game Land
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: New Hanover, 2015-08-06, Carolina Beach State Park - Pair in tandem, ovipositing at Lily Pond