The Dragonflies and Damselflies of North Carolina
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North Carolina's 189 Odonate species

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Sort Species by: Family   Scientific Name       [ Undocumented ]
Related Species in LIBELLULIDAE: Number of records for 2024-00-00 = 3
Added in 2024-00-00 from a previous years = 2

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e.g., flight data, high counts, and earliest/latest dates can be seen.
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Bar-winged Skimmer (Libellula axilena) by Mark Shields
Compare with: Slaty Skimmer   Great Blue Skimmer  
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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Click on county for list of all its records for Bar-winged Skimmer
Flight Charts
Distribution Throughout the Coastal Plain and the eastern half of the Piedmont; spotty distribution in the western half of the Piedmont, though possibly occurs in all counties in the province. Present over most of the mountains, particularly the southern half of the province.
Abundance Fairly common in the Coastal Plain, more so in the southern half of the province, where it can be common locally. Uncommon in the eastern half of the Piedmont, but rare west of Stokes, Cabarrus, and Union counties, including the mountains. For some odd reason, we have a number of new mountain records, but relatively few from the western Piedmont, suggesting that the species is more "numerous" in the mountains than in the western Piedmont. Even so, it is generally a rare species west of the eastern Piedmont.
Flight Early May (and recently as early as mid-April) to early October in the Coastal Plain, and at least to early September in the Piedmont. The mountain flight extends at least from mid-May to late August.
Habitat Ponds, pools in swamps and powerline clearings, and other still waters close to forests.

See also Habitat Account for General Wet-Hydric Forests
Behavior Males perch on twigs, often at least 6 feet off the ground, along a forested edge next to water, such as a swampy pool or temporary pond in a powerline, and make patrols back and forth over the water. Adults typically forage close to forests and edges, such as along jeep trails and powerlines through bottomlands and swamps.
Comments Though not one of our truly common skimmers, the Bar-winged is still a numerous dragonfly and not hard to find in some Coastal Plain locales. As indicated above, it usually does not forage far from forests, and one is not likely to see it in open fields.
State Rank S5
State Status
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
Other Name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2023-01-16 17:49:14

Photo Gallery for Bar-winged Skimmer   41 photos are available.
Only the most recent 30 are shown.
Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Ashe, 2021-08-08, Pond Mountain Game Land
Photo 2 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Brunswick, 2021-07-23, Juniper Creek Game Land
Photo 3 by: Harry LeGrand, Lori Arent

Comment: Richmond; C, 2021-07-15, Sandhills Game Land - males
Photo 4 by: Harry LeGrand, Lori Arent

Comment: Wake, 2021-06-16, Umstead SP - 1 male & 1 female/teneral
Photo 5 by: Harry LeGrand, Lori Arent

Comment: Wake, 2021-06-16, Umstead SP - 1 male & 1 female/teneral
Photo 6 by: P Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2021-05-31, Hot Springs area
Photo 7 by: P Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2021-05-31, Hot Springs area
Photo 8 by: Matt Spangler

Comment: Chatham, 2020-07-06, Private residence off Big Woods Road, near Jordan Lake Educational State Forest
Photo 9 by: Matt Spangler

Comment: Chatham, 2020-07-06, Private residence off Big Woods Road, near Jordan Lake Educational State Forest
Photo 10 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Onslow, 2020-04-17, Sandy Run Savannas State Natural Area (SARU). Immature male.
Photo 11 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Dare; OBU, 2019-06-14, Jockey's Ridge State Park (JORI)
Photo 12 by: B. Bockhahn

Comment: Alleghany, 2019-06-03
Photo 13 by: John Petranka, Jim Petranka and party.

Comment: Avery, 2019-05-21, Pond on private property that adjoins the Blue Ridge Parkway in southern Avery County. - Male. At a very small pond near main pond.
Photo 14 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Craven, 2018-09-01, Croatan National Forest, powerline ROW at intersection of Catfish Lake Rd. and Little Rd.
Photo 15 by: Mark Shields, John Petranka, Sally Gewalt

Comment: Jackson, 2018-06-26, Panthertown Valley, Nantahala National Forest - in bogs. First record for county.
Photo 16 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Currituck, 2018-06-09, pond at Currituck Community Park near Maple
Photo 17 by: Mark Shields and Hunter Phillips

Comment: Beaufort, 2017-08-04, Palmetto Boardwalk, Goose Creek State Park (GOCR)
Photo 18 by: B. Bockhahn

Comment: Camden, 2017-07-27, Dismal Swamp State Park
Photo 19 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Bladen, 2017-05-20, - Jones Lake. Many seen at small retention areas away from the main lake, several seen with Mike Turner later at the lake itself.
Photo 20 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Carteret, 2017-04-30 - Immature male in forested region of eastern Croatan National Forest
Photo 21 by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin

Comment: Haywood, 2016-07-20, In a small pool within a high-elevation bog complex near the upper end of Flat Laurel Creek Trail. - At 5400 feet in elevation.
Photo 22 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Bladen, 2016-06-10, Suggs Mill Pond aka Horseshoe Lake
Photo 23 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Pender, 2015-09-01, Holly Shelter Game Land
Photo 24 by: Mark Shields

Comment: New Hanover, 2015-08-06, Carolina Beach State Park - at Lily Pond
Photo 25 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Columbus, 2015-08-01, Lake Waccamaw State Park
Photo 26 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Carteret, 2015-07-01, Patsy Pond Nature Trail, Croatan National Forest
Photo 27 by: Owen McConnell

Comment: Graham, 2015-06-15, drainage bog on FS 81 near bridge over Santeetlah Creek - male
Photo 28 by: Kristy Baker

Comment: Currituck, 2015-06-09, Pine Island Audubon Sanctuary
Photo 29 by: Kristy Baker

Comment: Tyrrell, 2015-06-06, Scuppermong Interpretive Boardwalk
Photo 30 by: Kristy Baker

Comment: Tyrrell, 2015-06-06, Palmetto-Peartree Preserve - Multiple individuals seen but not counted.