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 AESHNIDAE: Number of records added in 2020 = 50
Added in 2020 from previous years = 2 (1903-04-06) (2019-04-16)

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e.g., flight data, high counts, and earliest/latest dates can be seen.
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Swamp Darner (Epiaeschna heros) by Mark Shields
Compare with: Regal Darner   Cyrano Darner   Phantom Darner  
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 Swamp Darner
flight charts
distribution Statewide, though distribution in the mountains is spotty (but likely occurs in all 100 counties of NC).
abundance Common to often very common in the Coastal Plain, and fairly common to common in the Piedmont; rare to uncommon in the mountains.
flight The flight is from the end of March or early April into early November in the Coastal Plain. In the Piedmont the flight begins a bit later, by mid-April, and likely ends around mid-October, but oddly we have no records after September! The mountain flight occurs from late April to mid-October.
habitat Swamps, bottomlands, rivers, and large streams; not numerous around forested lakes or ponds.

See also Habitat Account for General Wet-Hydric Floodplains
behavior Often seen cruising along forested roads and other clearings near woodlands and swamps, such as along roads through bottomlands and swamps. Flight is often head-height to treetop level. Frequently perches, usually at head-height or above, hanging downward from a twig.
comments If a large dragonfly is seen flying over a road through a forested wetland, it is most likely this species. Several can often be seen in the same general area, though it normally doesn't form swarms. It can often be the most commonly seen species on a summer or early fall day, especially in the Coastal Plain.
S_rank S5
G_rank G5
date_spread [Overwinter:] [Date Spread:] [No Late Date:] [Split on Feb:] [Default:]
Species account update: LeGrand1234

Photo Gallery for Swamp Darner   40 photos are available.
Only the most recent 30 are shown.
Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: p dixon

Comment: Madison, 2020-05-03, French Broad, Hot Springs area - Many flying along the railroad tracks beside the river
Photo 2 by: C. Blackwell

Comment: Yancey, 2020-04-11, MOMI - specimen had already expired, but was still intact @ -82.265435, 35.765679
Photo 3 by: Audrey Kelly

Comment: Orange, 2020-04-10, Chapel Hill
Photo 4 by: Jan Hansen

Comment: Orange, 2020-03-28, Mason Farm Biological Preserve-Chapel Hill
Photo 5 by: Owen and Pat McConnell

Comment: Graham, 2019-08-10, Found dead by Robin Mason at her house at 4989 W, Buffalo Rd. Her cat might have killed it. Robin brought it to me, and I photographed it. - Dead when photographed
Photo 6 by: Pete Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2019-05-19, 9:30am-5pm, sunny hot, River Road, meadows around Murray Branch
Photo 7 by: Karsh Agbayani

Comment: Johnston, 2019-05-08, Found caught in a cobweb but still alive and later released
Photo 8 by: Karsh Agbayani

Comment: Johnston, 2019-05-08, Found caught in a cobweb but still alive and later released
Photo 9 by: Karsh Agbayani

Comment: Johnston, 2019-05-08, Found caught in a cobweb but still alive and later released
Photo 10 by: Aaron Edmonds

Comment: Harnett; C, 2019-05-06, Flat Branch- Many individuals spotted along with a black saddlebags
Photo 11 by: Doug Allen

Comment: Polk; P, 2019-04-16, FENCE - First record for county, Doug Allen
Photo 12 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Wayne, 2019-04-15, Cliffs of the Neuse State Park (CLNE)
Photo 13 by: Owen McConnell and Simpson Eason

Comment: Durham, 2018-06-23, Beaver Marsh Preserve on Ellerbe Creek - female ovipositing in mud
Photo 14 by: M. Turner, J. Daigle, T. Schoch, S. Daniel, K. Larsen

Comment: Harnett; P, 2018-05-10, Cape Fear River Trail; Erwin, NC
Photo 15 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2018-04-13, Stones Creek Game Land
Photo 16 by: John Petranka

Comment: Davidson, 2017-06-03, Boone's Cave Park. Near the picnic shelter. - Female.
Photo 17 by: Conrad Wernett, Alyssa Wernett

Comment: Columbus, 2017-05-28, - Lake Waccamaw. Seen on main lake and all adjoining creeks/rivers.
Photo 18 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Duplin, 2017-05-27, Northeast Cape Fear River between Chinquapin Boat Access and Wayne's Landing Boat Access, by kayak
Photo 19 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Columbus, 2017-05-20, - Lake Waccamaw State Park. Small feeding swarm near first dock along lake trail.
Photo 20 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Bladen, 2017-05-20, - Several seen perched away from water, later several seen with Mike Turner at the lake itself.
Photo 21 by: Curtis Smalling

Comment: Watauga, 2017-04-28, Meat Camp Creek ESA - female ovipositing
Photo 22 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Alamance, 2017-04-15, - Several males flying and one female ovipositing photographed in swampy area along Swepsonville River Park.
Photo 23 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Columbus, 2015-09-05, Waccamaw River - 1 observed in 1 km stretch below dam; 3 observed in 4 km stretch upstream of NC 904 bridge
Photo 24 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Pender, 2015-08-28, Shelter Creek by kayak, from Shelter Creek Boating Access to about 2 km downstream
Photo 25 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Robeson, 2015-08-01, Lumber River State Park, Princess Ann Access
Photo 26 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2015-06-29, Northeast Creek Park, Jacksonville - Captured by a Purple Martin
Photo 27 by: Conrad Wernett, Alyssa Wernett

Comment: Onslow, 2015-06-14, - Feeding swarms present every night, four females collected for ID.
Photo 28 by: Kristy Baker

Comment: Currituck, 2015-06-09, Pine Island Audubon Sanctuary
Photo 29 by: Kristy Baker

Comment: Dare; Mainland, 2015-06-07, Alligator River NWR Charles Kuralt Trail - Photo of only one individual, but there were several that might have been been swamp darners.
Photo 30 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Wake, 2014-06-02, Lake Raleigh