The Dragonflies and Damselflies of North Carolina
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North Carolina's 187 Odonate species

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Related Species in GOMPHIDAE: Number of records for 2019 = 5

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Appalachian Snaketail (Ophiogomphus incurvatus) by John Petranka
Compare with: Edmund's Snaketail   Maine Snaketail   Rusty Snaketail   Brook Snaketail  
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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 Appalachian Snaketail
distribution Throughout the western and central Piedmont; and sparingly in the lower elevations of the mountains, though so far known only from Buncombe County in that province. Apparently absent from the northeastern Piedmont. Recorded east to Caswell, Guilford, Moore, and Richmond counties; in the latter two counties, the records have come from the Sandhills region within the Coastal Plain. For some odd reason, the species has a rather limited range from MD to AL, and even though the common name is "Appalachian", and the general range is the southern Appalachians and Piedmont, for some interesting reason (elevation?) there are few "true" mountain records for NC.
abundance Uncommon to locally fairly common. It is quite widespread for a clubtail in the state, as there are records for most counties in the western 2/3rds of the NC Piedmont. However, this is globally a scarce species, as NatureServe has a G3 (rare) global rank. Thus, NC might have the highest density of the species.
flight Mid-April to late June, both in the mountains/foothills and in the remainder of the Piedmont and western Sandhills. The two records for Richmond County are for early April and early May, and thus in the southern Piedmont and Sandhills counties, the flight may start by early April.
habitat Small to medium streams, often in the open, for breeding; usually the streams are clear with some riffles and some gravel.
behavior Males typically perch on twigs or low vegetation near a creek; they make short patrols over the water.
comments Though this is a globally scarce species, with Paulson (2011) calling it "rare" and Dunkle (2000) calling it "uncommon", it apparently is most numerous in its range in the western and central NC Piedmont. Snaketails (clubtails in the genus Ophiogomphus) are typically a bit more colorful than clubtails in other genera, especially with the bright lime-green or grass-green sides of the thorax. Because of its G3 global rank, though it is not a rare species in NC, the NC Natural Heritage Program has added the species to its Watch List in 2012. There have been quite a few recent records, and most significant are the two from small Sandhills streams in the far western Coastal Plain (Moore and Richmond counties). In fact, this is our only snaketail (Ophiogomphus) that occurs in the Coastal Plain, even if just at the western edge.
state_status W
S_rank S3
fed_status
G_rank G3
synonym
other_name
Species account update: LeGrand

Photo Gallery for Appalachian Snaketail

Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo by: Charles K. Smith, John Petranka and party.

Comment: Burke; P, 2019-05-15, South Mountain State Park (SOMO). Along Clear Creek below the dam of Clear Creek Lake. - Male.
Photo by: R Emmitt and super DSA crew!

Comment: Moore; C, 2018-05-11, Drowning Creek at Richmond County line. - Vouchered by Boris
Photo by: Mike Turner

Comment: Richmond; C, 2018-05-06, Naked Creek @ Derby Rd. (SR 1003) - ad.male
Photo by: John Petranka

Comment: Wilkes; M, 2017-05-31, Stone Mountain State Park (STMO). East Prong of the Roaring River at the Bridle Loop Trail parking area. Along stream restoration site. - 1 male, 1 female.
Photo by: John Petranka

Comment: Wilkes; M, 2017-05-31, Stone Mountain State Park (STMO). East Prong of the Roaring River at the Bridle Loop Trail parking area. Along stream restoration site. - 1 male, 1 female.
Photo by: John Petranka

Comment: Caswell, 2017-05-08, Along NC 62 at Country Line Creek. About 1.2 miles south of Main Street in Yanceyville. - Female. Sunning and feeding in vegetation alongside the bridge.
Photo by: John Petranka

Comment: Caswell, 2017-05-08, Along NC 62 at Country Line Creek. About 1.2 miles south of Main Street in Yanceyville. - Female. Sunning and feeding in vegetation alongside the bridge.
Photo by: John Petranka, Jim Petranka

Comment: Buncombe, 2016-06-07, Sandy Mush Gameland, Bear Creek Road access. Sandy Mush Creek via main trail west from parking area. Female feeding in clearing near creek. Photo.
Photo by: John Petranka, Jim Petranka

Comment: Buncombe, 2016-06-07, Sandy Mush Gameland, Bear Creek Road access. Sandy Mush Creek via main trail west from parking area. Female feeding in clearing near creek. Photo.
Photo by: Timothy Deering

Comment: Buncombe, 2016-06-07, Dark Hollow Creek
Photo by: Timothy Deering

Comment: Buncombe, 2016-05-23, Dark Hollow Creek
Photo by: Rick Cheicante

Comment: Surry, 2016-04-24, - Pilot Mountain SP - clearing along Pilot Knob Park Rd
Photo by: Doug Johnston

Comment: Buncombe, 2011-06-24, Sandy Mush Gamelands, Bear creek access
Photo by: Doug Johnston, Gail Lankford

Comment: Buncombe, 2010-05-20, SandyMush gamelands
Photo by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Wilkes; M, 2007-05-17, female
Photo by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Wilkes; M, 2007-05-14, mated pair
Photo by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Wilkes; M, 2007-05-14, male
Photo by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Wilkes County (M), 2007-05-17, female
Photo by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Wilkes County (M), 2007-05-17, female