The Dragonflies and Damselflies of North Carolina
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North Carolina's 187 Odonate species
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Related Species in CORDULIIDAE: Number of records for 2019 = 6

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Slender Baskettail (Epitheca costalis) by Mark Shields
Compare with: Common Baskettail   Mantled Baskettail   Robust Baskettail  
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 Slender Baskettail
distribution Primarily the Coastal Plain, though it does occur in the eastern and southeastern Piedmont and in the southern mountains. Likely present over other portions of the southern Piedmont between Montgomery and Henderson counties. In fact, range maps in Dunkle (2000) and Beaton (2007) show that the species ought to occur over the entire state, except perhaps for the northern mountains! Thankfully, the range map in Paulson (2011) matches that of the range map for NC on this website.
abundance Generally uncommon in the Coastal Plain; much less numerous than the Common and Mantled baskettails within its Coastal Plain range. Very rare in the eastern Piedmont and southern mountains (and apparently absent elsewhere in these provinces). However, as the species is difficult to positively identify without hand examination, its true abundance is only speculation.
flight Spring season for the most part, but sparingly into early summer. In the Coastal Plain, the flight is from late March to early July, but it is most numerous in April and May. Interestingly, Duncan Cuyler's records for the Great Dismal Swamp area are only in June, from Camden County; but his records elsewhere in NC fall between April and July (Roble and Cuyler 1998). The meager data for the Piedmont fall between early May and early July, whereas those in the mountains fall between mid-June and mid-July. A 2018 record from 27 February was nearly a month earlier than the previous earliest date.
habitat Mainly at ponds or small lakes, rarely at slow-moving rivers.
behavior Males patrol small territories around the pond margins. As with all baskettails, adults are more easily seen and studied when they are foraging or perching in an oblique manner on twigs a foot or two above ground along dirt roads and wide trails.
comments This species was formerly called the Stripe-winged Baskettail, but only a few females show the characteristic "named" dark bar on the leading edge of the wings. The species averages slightly longer than Common Baskettail, but it is best separated by the thinner abdomen that is narrowed near the thorax, giving a more spindle-shape to the abdomen. The species can easily be confused in the field with Common Baskettail, and thus observers are likely either overlooking this less common species or are reluctant to submit sight reports for it. In fact, the website editors determined (in late 2016) that one to several previous photos on this website are actually of Common Baskettails and not Slender Baskettails.
state_status
S_rank S4
fed_status
G_rank G5
synonym
other_name Stripe-winged Baskettail
Species account update: LeGrand

Photo Gallery for Slender Baskettail

Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Scotland, 2019-04-22, Scotland Lake, Sandhills Game Land
Photo by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt

Comment: Carteret, 2019-04-03, Croatan National Forest. Along Patsy Pond Green and Blue trails. - 4 males and 5 females, including one pair in wheel. Most were perched 18 inches or less above ground. - female.
Photo by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt

Comment: Carteret, 2019-04-03, Croatan National Forest. Along Patsy Pond Green and Blue trails. - 4 males and 5 females, including this pair in wheel. Most were perched 18 inches or less above ground.
Photo by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt

Comment: Carteret, 2019-04-03, Croatan National Forest. Along Patsy Pond Green and Blue trails. - 4 males and 5 females, including one pair in wheel. Most were perched 18 inches or less above ground. - male lateral view.
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Brunswick, 2018-05-11, Spring Lake Park, Boiling Spring Lakes - female ovipositing
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Carteret, 2018-04-18, Ponds along Patsy Pond Nature Trail, Croatan National Forest - male
Photo by: Mark Shields and Hunter Phillips

Comment: Brunswick, 2018-04-02, Boiling Spring Lakes Preserve Nature Trail
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Carteret, 2018-02-27, Ponds along Patsy Pond Nature Trail, Croatan National Forest - male, recently emerged
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2016-04-10, female with dark stripes on leading edge of wings, my property, Holly Ridge
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2016-04-08, Stones Creek Game Land - male
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2016-04-08, Stones Creek Game Land - male
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Carteret, 2016-03-29, female, pond along Patsy Pond Nature Trail, Croatan National Forest