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 CORDULIIDAE: Number of records for 2019 = 14

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Selys's Sundragon (Helocordulia selysii) by John Petranka
Compare with: Uhler's Sundragon  
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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 Selys's Sundragon
distribution Nearly throughout the Piedmont and the Coastal Plain, though apparently absent from the extreme eastern part of the latter region (no records east of Hertford and Beaufort counties). Of sporadic occurrence in the western Piedmont, possibly absent from a few of these counties. No mountain records.
abundance Uncommon to occasionally or locally fairly common in the eastern half of the Piedmont and the southern Coastal Plain. Slightly less numerous (uncommon) in the central and northwestern Coastal Plain; rare to uncommon in the western Piedmont.
flight First two-thirds of the spring season only; mid-March to late May, though scarce after early May.
habitat Small creeks and trickles, where sandy, and typically in shaded or semi-shaded places.
behavior Its behavior is similar to that of baskettails, with males patrolling small areas along creeks. However, as with baskettails, adults frequently move well away from water, feeding along dirt roads and wide, sunny trails, perching like those species in an oblique manner on twigs close to the ground. They can be somewhat unwary and studied/photographed at close range.
comments As Dunkle (2000) calls the species "uncommon" over its range, and Beaton (2007) calls it "Uncommon to rare" in its GA range, the species must be more numerous in NC than in most other states in its range. Active field biologists will often find one or two each spring, though it seldom occurs in numbers. At first glance the two sundragons (genus Helocordulia) resemble baskettails (genus Epitheca), but their spindle-shaped abdomen (narrowed at the anterior end) and ochre-orange band/ring on abdominal segment 3 separates the two genera.
S_rank S4
G_rank G4
Species account update: LeGrand

Photo Gallery for Selys's Sundragon

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

Comment: Moore; C, 2019-04-18, Drowning Creek at Moore County Line Road bridge
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Brunswick, 2019-03-30, Boiling Spring Lakes Preserve Nature Trail - 1 male, 1 female
Photo by: Mike Turner

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

Comment: Jones, 2018-04-20, Along Great Lake Road patrolling tributary to Hunters Creek, Croatan NF. - Males.
Photo by: Mark Shields and Hunter Phillips

Comment: Hoke, 2018-04-05, Wagram Boating Access Area, Lumber River
Photo by: Mark Shields and Hunter Phillips

Comment: Scotland, 2018-04-05, Lumber River State Park (LURI) Chalk Banks
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Sampson, 2017-03-25, South River
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Bladen, 2017-03-25, South River
Photo by: John Petranka

Comment: Pender, 2017-03-21, Shaw Highway at the Ashes Creek bridge, 0.4 miles south of Old Maple Hill Road. - Males. Patrolling near the bridge.
Photo by: John Petranka

Comment: Rockingham, 2016-04-13, Mayo River State Park, Fall Creek Trail downstream from Deshazo Road. Male. Photo.
Photo by: Conrad Wernett, Alyssa Wernett, Matt Anderson

Comment: Richmond; C, 2015-05-03, - Drainage from Lake McKinney
Photo by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Scotland, 2014-04-26, - Drainage from Lake McKinney
Photo by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Wake, 2014-04-12, - Several specimens found on small creek.
Photo by: Beth Brinson

Comment: Surry, 2012-03-29, PIMO-YRSN
Photo by: Ali Iyoob, Matt Daw, Dan Irizarry

Comment: Richmond; C, 2011-05-05, McKinney Lake Fish Hatchery
Photo by: Dorothy E. Pugh

Comment: Durham, 2011-04-04. Penny's Bend Nature Preserve