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 GOMPHIDAE: Number of records added in 2020 = 0

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Skillet Clubtail (Gomphurus ventricosus) by Matthew Daw
Compare with: Riverine Clubtail  
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 Skillet Clubtail
flight charts
distribution A Northern species, ranging south only to the northeastern Piedmont of NC, where it ranges south only to Wake County. Known from just four NC counties.
abundance Very rare to rare in NC. Even throughout its overall range, Dunkle (2000) calls it rare, and NatureServe gives it a global rank of G3 (rare). Though there are a minimum of 35 records with dates, many seem to be from the same general area and it should not be inferred that the species is not rare.
flight Late April to mid-June; records fall between 28 April and 20 June.
habitat Larger rivers and streams that are fast-flowing, though occasionally at lakes with good water quality.
behavior Males are most easily seen in short flights out over the water, and they then return to shore to perch, often in grass, in the shade, or other inconspicuous places.
comments The club is comparatively the widest of any clubtail, it being wider than the thorax width! It is also the smallest Gomphurus species of clubtail. Though rare and very poorly known in NC, it probably can be identified in flight within its small state range; the Cobra Clubtail is somewhat similar but that species has a mostly black abdomen (not as yellow on the dorsal portions of the thorax and abdomen as is the Skillet). It is one of the less common of the dragonflies, as NatureServe has its Global Rank at G3.

There are only a few recent records. The State Rank of S1S2 might need to be moved, sadly, to a straight S1 in the next year or two, without any more records, especially from new sites. The editors suggest a rank of S1 is better now, as it does appear to be decreasing in its small range in the state.
state_status SR
S_rank S1S2 [S1]
G_rank G3
date_spread [Overwinter:] [Date Spread:] [No Late Date:] [Split on Feb:] [Default:]
synonym Gomphus ventricosus
Species account update: LeGrand on 2020-05-18 11:39:54

Photo Gallery for Skillet Clubtail

Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo by: Steve Hall

Comment: Franklin, 2013-05-15, Tar River below Louisburg
Photo by: Steve Hall

Comment: Franklin, 2013-05-15, Tar River below Louisburg
Photo by: Matthew Daw

Comment: Wake, 2010-05-12, FALA - Neuse River below dam