The Dragonflies and Damselflies of North Carolina
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Checklist for North Carolina
Complete 11th Approximation
NC Biodiversity Project
North Carolina's 187 Odonate species
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[ Undocumented ]
Related Species in CORDULIIDAE:
Cordulia shurtleffii - American Emerald
Epitheca costalis - Slender Baskettail
Epitheca cynosura - Common Baskettail
Epitheca princeps - Prince Baskettail
Epitheca semiaquea - Mantled Baskettail
Epitheca spinosa - Robust Baskettail
Helocordulia selysii - Selys's Sundragon
Helocordulia uhleri - Uhler's Sundragon
Neurocordulia alabamensis - Alabama Shadowdragon
Neurocordulia molesta - Smoky Shadowdragon
Neurocordulia obsoleta - Umber Shadowdragon
Neurocordulia virginiensis - Cinnamon Shadowdragon
Neurocordulia yamaskanensis - Stygian Shadowdragon
Somatochlora elongata - Ski-tipped Emerald
Somatochlora filosa - Fine-lined Emerald
Somatochlora georgiana - Coppery Emerald
Somatochlora linearis - Mocha Emerald
Somatochlora provocans - Treetop Emerald
Somatochlora tenebrosa - Clamp-tipped Emerald
Number of records added in 2020 = 0
PDF has more details,
e.g., flight data, high counts, and earliest/latest dates can be seen.
by Marion Dobbs. 2008-06-15 Rabun County, GA
Move the cursor over the image, or tap the image if using a mobile device, to reveal ID Tips.
Note: these identification tips apply to both sexes.
Click on county for list of all its records for
A puzzling range in NC, so far as known, based on its "wide"overall global range. Known at present only from a handful of counties in the northeastern Piedmont -- west only to Durham and Chatham counties, and east to the Fall Line separating the Piedmont from the Coastal Plain. As this is a mostly Southern species, ranging north to southern Virginia, the lack of certain Coastal Plain records is striking or puzzling. A new county record (in 2013), for Northampton County, lies along the Fall Line, at Weldon. This record was added to the Coastal Plain flight chart on the PDF page; however, this record could just as easily have been included in the Piedmont flight chart.
Seemingly rare to uncommon (and perhaps fairly common at one or two sites) in NC, but as this and other species of shadowdragons are crepuscular, determining the range and abundance is very difficult. Oddly, Dunkle (2000) calls the species "common" in its range, but Beaton (2007) calls it "probably uncommon" in GA. The fact that at least 14 individuals were collected in a single day at a Chatham County site suggests that it might be numerous in a few places within its narrow range.
The flight in NC occurs from mid-May to early July.
This is a riverine species, occurring at larger, clean ones with riffles.
See also Habitat Account for
Piedmont and General Rocky Rivers
As with other shadowdragons, adults perch inconspicuously on twigs in the shade of forests during the day, emerging during the last hour of light to forage near rivers. Beaton (2007) mentions that the species is more likely than other shadowdragons to forage away from its breeding habitat (i.e., away from water).
Based on records from throughout its range on the OdonataCentral website, it seems that there is a FL bias in Dunkle's (2000) considering the species to be "common". A "common" status seems to be true in FL and probably AL, but there are just two counties of occurrence shown on the website for each of GA, SC, TN, and VA. Thus, the seven counties known for NC is not out of line, and the Cinnamon Shadowdragon clearly is a rare to very uncommon dragonfly north of FL, and is much less numerous than the Umber Shadowdragon (which occurs with it in the NC Piedmont) north of FL. Despite there being fewer than 30 records with dates available, the NC Natural Heritage Program moved the species from the Rare List to the Watch List in 2012, as it wants more data on twilight survey efforts for shadowdragons before it considers any (other than the Stygian) to be truly rare.
Sadly, with hardly any new records in recent years, it seems best for this species to be moved back to the Rare List as Significantly Rare. And the State Rank be moved up to S1?, or possibly S1S2. Certainly, the extremely few recent records is related to very few crepuscular surveys with long nets, but a species this seemingly scarce should be monitored now.
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Species account update: LeGrand on 2020-05-18 13:37:37
Photo Gallery for Cinnamon Shadowdragon
Other NC Galleries:
Photo by: E. Corey, N. Flanders, E. Enders
Comment: Northampton, 2013-05-26, Roanoke River, near Weldon - Teneral female, ID by Ed Lam