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 LIBELLULIDAE: Number of records added in 2020 = 1

PDF has more details,
e.g., flight data, high counts, and earliest/latest dates can be seen.
[View PDF]
Four-spotted Pennant (Brachymesia gravida) by Mark Shields
Compare with:   Distinctive
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.

[Google images]
mapClick on county for list of all its records for Four-spotted Pennant
flight charts
distribution Essentially the lower half of the Coastal Plain only, inland to Hertford, Edgecombe, Cumberland, and Columbus counties. A presumed storm-based stray to the Piedmont (Mecklenburg County), where several were seen on multiple dates in 2018. This is one of just roughly five "primarily coastal" dragonflies in NC (along with Seaside Dragonlet, Needham's Skimmer, Roseate Skimmer, and Marl Pennant). A photograph of one in Cumberland County in 2013 extended the range inward by 15-20 miles in the southern part of the Coastal Plain.
abundance Common close to tidal/brackish waters; much less common -- rare to uncommon -- in areas well away (several dozen miles) from tidal waters. Accidental or casual stray into the southern Piedmont.
flight A wide flight period during the warmer months, ranging from mid-May to late September, rarely into October.
habitat This is one of the few dragonflies in the East that favors brackish water for breeding; habitats include brackish lakes, ponds, and ditches, but also still fresh water habitats also. The handful of 2018 records from Mecklenburg County are from small ponds.

See also Habitat Account for Coastal Freshwater and Low-Salinity Marshes
behavior Adults are often seen in some numbers flying along ponds and ditches, frequently perching on twigs and vegetation in easy view of the observer.
comments The white stigmas are very conspicuous and identify these dragonflies, even if the single large dark patch near the node on each wing isn't seen at first glance. Adults often obelisk. Thus, its behavior, unique markings, and occurrence in open habitats render it easy to identify and one of the favorites among odonate watchers. The photo record from Mecklenburg County in early June 2018 is likely attributable to the passage of Tropical Storm Alberto a few days earlier. To follow up on that record, other biologists there recorded the species on three later dates, including an excellent four seen on July 8 and another five on August 4; surprisingly these records came from several locations in the county! As of now, these Mecklenburg records likely do not represent a range extension, especially as none were reported from the county in 2019.
S_rank S5
G_rank G5
date_spread [Overwinter:] [Date Spread:] [No Late Date:] [Split on Feb:] [Default:]
Species account update: LeGrand on 2020-01-24 09:33:40

Photo Gallery for Four-spotted Pennant

Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo by: Scott Pohlman

Comment: Tyrrell, 2019-07-10, Alligator River
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Camden, 2019-06-24, Indiantown Creek, from S. Indiantown Rd. bridge to confluence with North River and back, by kayak.
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Currituck, 2018-09-08, Historic Corolla Park, Corolla
Photo by: Robert Gilson and Chris Talkington

Comment: Mecklenburg, 2018-08-04, Cowan's Ford Wildlife Refuge
Photo by: Chris Talkington

Comment: Mecklenburg, 2018-07-08, Rivergate Shopping Center retention ponds. Charlotte NC
Photo by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Dare; OBM, 2018-06-29, North Pond, Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Beaufort, 2018-06-22, South Creek at Aurora Boating Access Area
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Chowan, 2018-06-09, Edenton National Fish Hatchery
Photo by: Rob Van Epps

Comment: Mecklenburg, 2018-06-06, Lake Davidson off Jetton Street. Rare to find this species inland. First county record according to this website.
Photo by: Rob Van Epps

Comment: Mecklenburg, 2018-06-06, Lake Davidson off Jetton Street
Photo by: Mike Turner

Comment: Edgecombe, 2017-08-04, Tarboro; Etheridge Pond; 35.8699, -77.5279 - ad.males
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Lenoir, 2017-08-01, Neuseway Nature Park, Kinston
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Columbus, 2016-07-22, Lake Waccamaw, southern end between dam and pier
Photo by: Mike Turner

Comment: Dare, 2015-09-10, Cape Point, Buxton; freshwater pond at 35.235931, -75.529496 - adult males
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Pamlico, 2015-09-04, Upper Broad Creek at Lee
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Hyde, 2015-07-08, Mattamuskeet NWR
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Pender, 2015-06-22, salt marsh at Soundside Park, Surf City
Photo by: Kristy Baker

Comment: Dare; Mainland, 2015-06-12, Roanoke Island Marsh Game Land - Several seen but not counted.
Photo by: Curtis Smalling

Comment: Dare; Mainland, 2014-07-17, Point Peter Road, Alligator River NWR - males in roadside ditch
Photo by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Onslow, 2014-06-29, - Several individuals at retention pond
Photo by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Jones, 2014-06-22, - Two males spotted at Brocks Mill
Photo by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: New Hanover, 2014-05-24, - Absolute swarms around Sutton Lake
Photo by: Mike Turner

Comment: Cumberland, 2013-09-05, Rhodes Pond - female
Photo by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2013-07-03, Retention pond at Coastal Carolina Community College, Jacksonville
Photo by: Doug Johnston

Comment: Onslow, 2010-07-29, North Topsail island
Photo by: Doug Johnston

Comment: Onslow, 2010-07-26, North Topsail island
Photo by: Salman Abdulali

Comment: Pitt, 2006-08-05, River Park North
Photo by: R. Emmitt

Comment: Brunswick, 2003-06-22, female