North Carolina's 187 Odonate species

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Related Species in GOMPHIDAE: Number of records for 2019 = 0

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Zebra Clubtail (Stylurus scudderi) by John Petranka, Sally Gewalt
Compare with:   Distinctive
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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 Zebra Clubtail
distribution Mountain province only; probably occurring throughout the mountains, as there are several county records for northern GA. Though there is a large gap between the two clusters of mountain records, and Buncombe and Madison counties have been fairly well worked for odonates, it is highly unlikely that this species is absent there or any rarer there than near the VA and GA borders. This is a Northern species, and NC lies near the southern edge of the range.
abundance Very rare or rare; known from just seven of the mountain counties. Dunkle (2000) calls the species as "fairly common" over its range, though clearly in NC it is nowhere this numerous, as there are just 3-4 recent records, all from the same general area in a single county (Watauga).
flight "Mid-June to early Oct." (Dunkle 2000). However, in NC this is a late-flying clubtail; all records with dates are from mid-August to late September. It seems likely that the flight period is more than just 40 days long, and it is suspected that the flight begins earlier than 20 August.
habitat Cool, swiftly flowing creeks and smaller rivers, in forested areas.
behavior Males perch on low sites, such as twigs, leaves, and at times on the ground. They make short patrols over riffles of the creeks.
comments This is one of many clubtails that is essentially restricted to the mountains in NC, and therefore is known to very few people. Fortunately, the species (especially males) is easy to identify by the bold pale rings around abdominal segments and the fairly wide club. Adults are considered to be a bit wary, and thus the species is probably not as scarce in NC as the few records imply. Teddy Wilcox provided our first recent record(s), observing and photographing one individual on five dates in late summer and fall 2016 along the Boone Greenway. He rightly wondered if a single Zebra Clubtail was responsible for each of these sightings, spread out over a span of dates ranging from 31 August to 20 September. No matter the answer, he has provided the first known photos of this species in the state. A year later, John Petranka and Sally Gewalt found a few individuals in the same general area of Watauga County.
state_status SR
S_rank S2?
fed_status
G_rank G4
synonym
other_name
Species account update: LeGrand

Photo Gallery for Zebra Clubtail

Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo by: Richard Stickney

Comment: Watauga, 2017-09-18, Boone Greenway along S. Fork New River - males; 1 patrolling, 1 perched on rock by river
Photo by: Richard Stickney

Comment: Watauga, 2017-09-18, Boone Greenway along S. Fork New River - males; 1 patrolling, 1 perched on rock by river
Photo by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt

Comment: Watauga, 2017-09-04, South Fork of the New River, Clawson-Burnley Park, Boone. - Males. Perched on low (1-2 feet above water) overhanging tree branches and on logs along shoreline of the South Fork of the New River. Males interacted aggressively, but both allowed me to approach closely. One crawled onto my finger and allowed me to reposition him to a more photogenic perch!
Photo by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt

Comment: Watauga, 2017-09-04, South Fork of the New River, Clawson-Burnley Park, Boone. - Males. Perched on low (1-2 feet above water) overhanging tree branches and on logs along shoreline of the South Fork of the New River. Males interacted aggressively, but both allowed me to approach closely. One crawled onto my finger and allowed me to reposition him to a more photogenic perch!
Photo by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt

Comment: Watauga, 2017-09-04, South Fork of the New River, Clawson-Burnley Park, Boone. - Males. Perched on low (1-2 feet above water) overhanging tree branches and on logs along shoreline of the South Fork of the New River. Males interacted aggressively, but both allowed me to approach closely. One crawled onto my finger and allowed me to reposition him to a more photogenic perch!
Photo by: Teddy Wilcox

Comment: Watauga, 2016-09-07, Boone Greenway - same individual as in previous week?
Photo by: Teddy Wilcox

Comment: Watauga, 2016-09-05, Boone Greenway - same individual as a few days ago?