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 for 2019 = 3

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Russet-tipped Clubtail (Stylurus plagiatus) by Mark Shields
Compare with: Two-striped Forceptail   Southeastern Spinyleg   Shining 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 Russet-tipped Clubtail
distribution Throughout the Piedmont and nearly all of the Coastal Plain, though probably absent in the far eastern counties; only one county record for the mountains, where essentially absent. No records east of Gates, Chowan, and Hyde counties.
abundance Though there are records for close to two-thirds of the counties in the state, it is uncommon in most of the Piedmont and Coastal Plain, but can be fairly common in parts of the Coastal Plain, especially in the southern part of that province. Rare in the foothills, and likely absent in most of the mountains, at least above perhaps 2500 feet in elevation.
flight Mid-summer into mid-fall. The flight occurs from early July to late October, though the earliest record for the Coastal Plain isn't until mid-July. Certainly the flight in the Coastal Plain should start at the same time, if not slightly earlier, than the flight in the Piedmont (i.e., by early July).
habitat Mainly at rivers and larger streams, but also at some lakes; silty or sandy bottoms. Occurs along both brownwater and blackwater rivers.
behavior Often perch on leaves near the water's edge, such that the weight of the body bends the leaf downward until the animals are almost in a vertical position. Adults forage in long flights over the rivers and creeks. In fact, the species is most often seen from a canoe or other type of boat along a wide creek or river, typically flying by at eye level.
comments This species, along with the Southeastern Spinyleg, has a large and bright orange/red club that is easily seen at a distance. This species can thus be fairly easily identified without a net as it cruises along a river or stream. There has been a most gratifying surge in records in recent years, especially from Mark Shields, who has several double-digit counts by paddling along rivers in the southeastern part of the state.
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S_rank S4S5
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G_rank G5
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Species account update: LeGrand

Photo Gallery for Russet-tipped Clubtail

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

Comment: Davie, 2018-08-19, S. Yadkin River @ US 601
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Bladen, 2017-07-30, Cape Fear River at Lock and Dam #1
Photo by: Mark Shields

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

Comment: Robeson, 2016-09-25, Lumber River, between Boardman Boating Access and Piney Island Campsite
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Brunswick, 2015-09-05, Waccamaw River - along 4 km stretch upstream of NC 904 bridge
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Columbus, 2015-09-05, Waccamaw River - along 4 km stretch upstream of NC 904 bridge
Photo by: Salman Abdulali

Comment: Washington, 2015-09-05, Pocosin Natural Area, Pettigrew State Park
Photo by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt

Comment: New Hanover, 2015-08-28, Castle Hayne. Along NE Cape Fear River at Riverside Park, Old Bridge Site Rd. - Females. Perched on vegetation near the river.
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Sampson, 2015-08-23, Black River by kayak from Ivanhoe Boating Access to 0.5 km upstream of Dr Kerr Rd bridge
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Duplin, 2015-08-15, Northeast Cape Fear River by kayak, between Wayne
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Bladen, 2015-08-09, Black River by kayak, between NC 53/11 bridge and Hunts Bluff Wildlife ramp.
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Pender, 2015-08-09, Black River by kayak, between NC 53/11 bridge and Hunts Bluff Wildlife ramp.
Photo by: Mike Turner

Comment: Durham, 2013-08-24, Flat River Waterfowl Impoundment - males; over Flat River
Photo by: Beth Brinson

Comment: Rowan, 2008-07-19, High Rock Lake - Male
Photo by: Beth Brinson

Comment: Rowan, 2008-07-19, High Rock Lake - Male
Photo by: Kevin Metcalf

Comment: Mecklenburg, 2007-08-06, Latta Plantation Nature Preserve - Gar Creek kayak access area. Along lake edge - Three present, one caught, photographed and released.