The Dragonflies and Damselflies of North Carolina
Home Page Search Resources
LoginNC Biodiversity Project

North Carolina's 187 Odonate species

Sort Species by: Family   Scientific Name       [ Undocumented ]
Related Species in AESHNIDAE: Number of records added in 2020 = 10
Added in 2020 from previous years = 4 (1903-03-24) (1903-04-03) (1903-04-09) (1903-07-08)

PDF has more details,
e.g., flight data, high counts, and earliest/latest dates can be seen.
[View PDF]
Harlequin Darner (Gomphaeschna furcillata) by Jeff Pippen
Compare with: Taper-tailed Darner  
Identification Tips: Move the cursor over the image, or tap the image if using a mobile device, to reveal ID Tips.
Note: Except as noted for the cerci, all characters apply to both sexes.

[Google images]
mapClick on county for list of all its records for Harlequin Darner
flight charts
distribution Throughout the Coastal Plain, and the eastern two-thirds of the Piedmont. Ranges as far west as Stokes, Forsyth, and Iredell counties, though there was an unconfirmed (sight) report from Burke County in spring 2014. The occurrence in most of the Piedmont is spotty.
abundance Generally uncommon to infrequent over the Coastal Plain, but can be locally common to very common (in swarms). Uncommon in the extreme lower Piedmont, but rare in the central Piedmont.
flight Spring season, but sparingly into early summer. Its flight in the Coastal Plain is from late March to late May, with scattered records to early July; the Piedmont flight period is narrower -- early April to late May. The peak of the flight is in mid-April.
habitat Typically near swamps or wetter bottomlands, but also near wooded creeks.

See also Habitat Account for General Wet-Hydric Floodplains
behavior This species has a fairly unusual behavior. Males patrol over swamps or marshes, but also along roads through wetlands and also in nearby uplands. They fly generally from 3-6 feet off the ground, often back and forth, and sometimes hover in the observer's face! They do not perch often, but when they do, it typically is vertically on tree trunks, but at times on humans.
comments Dunkle (2000) calls the species "scarce" over its entire range; Beaton (2007) calls it "Rare to uncommon and local" throughout Georgia. Yet, observers have often seen dozens in some favorable spots in the NC Coastal Plain, and it can be the most commonly seen dragonfly at a few wetland areas, especially acidic wetlands such as pocosins. And, Cuyler has collection records from all but a few of the Coastal Plain counties in the state.
state_status
S_rank S4S5
fed_status
G_rank G5
date_spread [Overwinter:] [Date Spread:] [No Late Date:] [Split on Feb:] [Default:]
synonym
other_name
Species account update: LeGrand1234

Photo Gallery for Harlequin Darner   25 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt

Comment: Durham, 2020-04-05, Walking roads at Flat River Waterfowl Impoundment. - Males.
Photo 2 by: Jan Hansen

Comment: Orange, 2020-03-27, Mason Farm Biological Reserve-Chapel Hill - Perched vertically on tree trunk
Photo 3 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Bladen, 2019-04-16, Suggs Mill Pond Game Land - male landed on hand
Photo 4 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Wayne, 2019-04-15, Cliffs of the Neuse State Park (CLNE)
Photo 5 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Jones, 2018-04-03, Weetock Trail near Haywood Landing, Croatan National Forest
Photo 6 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Camden, 2017-04-14, Dismal Swamp State Park (DISW)
Photo 7 by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn

Comment: Camden, 2017-04-13, DISW - perhaps an underestimate; males and females photographed and netted
Photo 8 by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn

Comment: Camden, 2017-04-13, DISW - perhaps an underestimate; males and females photographed and netted
Photo 9 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Jones, 2017-04-11, Weetock Trail near Haywood Landing, Croatan National Forest
Photo 10 by: John Petranka

Comment: Wake, 2017-04-01, Robertson Millpond Preserve, Robertson Pond Road, eastern Wake County. - Males. Patrolling near the parking area.
Photo 11 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Pender, 2016-03-25, along Northeast Cape Fear River at Holly Shelter Boating Access
Photo 12 by: Conrad Wernett, Alyssa Wernett, Matt Anderson

Comment: Richmond; C, 2015-05-03, - Single male in grassy clearing near Lake Bagget..
Photo 13 by: Larry Lynch

Comment: Gates, 2015-04-18, Merchants Millpond State Park - female
Photo 14 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Onslow, 2014-04-13, - Clearing between wooded areas
Photo 15 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Craven, 2014-04-05, - Many seen patrolling roadway. One netted and photographed for ID.
Photo 16 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Onslow, 2014-04-05, - Several specimens found patrolling clearing between wooded areas
Photo 17 by: Doug Johnston

Comment: Brunswick, 2013-04-26, Green swamp
Photo 18 by: Doug Johnston

Comment: Pender, 2013-04-23, Cape fear river, Holly shelter game land
Photo 19 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Wake, 2013-04-18, Temple Flat Rock
Photo 20 by: Curtis Smalling

Comment: Dare; Mainland, 2011-04-26, At Milltail Creek put in, Alligator River NWR
Photo 21 by: Doug Johnston

Comment: Pender, 2011-04-14, - Boat launch area on Cape Fear river - Holly Shelter Gameland
Photo 22 by: Jeffrey Pippen - Jeff's website

Comment: Gates, 2007-04-13. Merchants Millpond S.P.
Photo 23 by: Jeffrey Pippen - Jeff's website

Comment: Female; Gates, 2007-04-13. Merchants Millpond S.P.
Photo 24 by: Chris Helms

Comment: Columbus, 2007-03-18, LAWA - Perched on pine after late afternoon rains.
Photo 25 by: FKW, SBW

Comment: Gates, 2005-04-08, male, MEMI