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 = 1

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Rapids Clubtail (Phanogomphus quadricolor) by John Petranka
Compare with: Harpoon Clubtail   Beaverpond Clubtail  
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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 Rapids Clubtail
distribution Primarily north and west of NC, ranging south to northern VA, eastern TN, and northern GA and AL. A photo record from near the French Broad River in Madison County in 2011 slightly expanded this main range eastward, as did another from alongside this river in adjacent Buncombe County in 2013, and another from Mitchell County in 2017. However, there are several eastern disjunct records from Chatham and Moore counties (essentially the Rocky and Deep rivers), from 1985-1989, and from Alamance County (Haw River) in 2017. An additional record came from Chatham County in 2018, thankfully documented with a photograph.
abundance Presumed very rare in the mountains, and also very rare (and local) in the eastern Piedmont. Status in the central and western Piedmont is obviously uncertain, though it may well occur in a few places in this large region.
flight A relatively short spring season flight. The flight dates from the eastern NC Piedmont are from 3-28 May, and the three NC mountain records are from 6 May to 3 June. The single GA record (in the mountains) is for 16 May. Thus, the flight in NC occurs from at least early May to early June. Dunkle (2000) says "early May to mid-July" throughout the range; and Paulson (2011) lists "May-Jun" for KY.
habitat Mainly at larger rivers with rocks and rapids.
behavior Males perch on rocks or vegetation near the rivers, but also on vegetation away from rivers.
comments This is another very rare clubtail in the state. Its distribution is oddly disjunct, as the main part of the range is north and west of the state, south to VA and TN; only one record is known from GA. This is one of many clubtails that can be difficult to identify; multiple photos or specimens are almost certainly necessary for proper documentation. Thankfully, Richard Stickney found a new location of the species, in the Haw River near Swepsonville, in May 2017, and documented this finding with several photographs. John Petranka added several additional photos from that site four days later; and Tim Deering and Jerrell Daigle documented the species from the Deep River in Chatham County in 2018. Both the Deep and Haw rivers are in the same (Cape Fear) drainage.
state_status SR
S_rank S1?
fed_status
G_rank G3G4
synonym Gomphus quadricolor
other_name
Species account update: LeGrand

Photo Gallery for Rapids Clubtail

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

Comment: Rockingham, 2019-04-27, Dan RIver Game Lands-powerline ROW
Photo by: Tim Deering/Jerrell Daigle

Comment: Chatham, 2018-05-12, In field near Deep River - Single female
Photo by: Tim Deering/Jerrell Daigle

Comment: Chatham, 2018-05-12, In field near Deep River - Single female
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Mitchell, 2017-06-03, Nolichucky River at Poplar Access Area - males
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Mitchell, 2017-06-03, Nolichucky River at Poplar Access Area - males
Photo by: John Petranka

Comment: Alamance, 2017-05-19, Haw River at Swepsonville. Perching on smaller rocks at the bridge. - Males.
Photo by: John Petranka

Comment: Alamance, 2017-05-19, Haw River at Swepsonville. Perching on smaller rocks at the bridge. - Males.
Photo by: John Petranka

Comment: Alamance, 2017-05-19, Haw River at Swepsonville. Perching on smaller rocks at the bridge. - Males.
Photo by: Richard Stickney

Comment: Alamance, 2017-05-15, Male on rock in Haw River at Swepsonville River Park
Photo by: Vin Stanton, Lucie Bruce, Nick Cooney

Comment: Buncombe, 2013-05-30, observed along French Broad River, Alexander Park north Buncombe county - Male
Photo by: Ali Iyoob, Matt Daw, Dan Irizarry

Comment: Madison, 2011-05-06, French Broad River