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 2023 = 0
Added in 2023 from a previous years = 8

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e.g., flight data, high counts, and earliest/latest dates can be seen.
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Needham's Skimmer (Libellula needhami) by Mark Shields
Compare with: Golden-winged 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 to both sexes as well as immature and mature individuals, although the thoracic pattern may be obscured in old individuals.

[Google images]     [Global Biodiversity Information Facility]
Click on county for list of all its records for Needham's Skimmer
Flight Charts
Distribution Essentially coastal, though it does occur on the mainland side of Pamlico Sound and up estuarine rivers as far as tidal waters are present. A collection record for Halifax County is perhaps open to question, as this seems much too far inland. However, a documented and apparently resident population was discovered by Amy Padgett in "far inland" Bladen County in 2022, especially as she observed a female ovipositing in August of that year.
Abundance Common and widespread; present all around Albemarle Sound (unlike the Seaside Dragonlet), as well as around Pamlico Sound. Very rare away from a county that touches tidal water.
Flight Early May to mid-October; however, most records fall from late May to late September.
Habitat Brackish waters of marshes, tidal ponds, and other bodies of water in coastal areas (including some freshwater pools and ponds). The Bladen County habitat is a wetland clearcut that is in early succession stage.

See also Habitat Account for Coastal Freshwater and Low-Salinity Marshes
Behavior Males patrol over tidal waters, including salt marshes. Adults do move away from tidal marshes and pools to forage in fields and other uplands, where they might come into competition with the closely related Golden-winged Skimmer.
Comments Males of this species are quite striking, even slightly more intense orange or scarlet than in the Golden-winged Skimmer, but identification needs to be made by study of the thorax, not by coloration. Also, Golden-winged is not typically found in tidal regions. An observer usually does not have to work hard to find this species, as it is much more conspicuous around tidal water than either the Four-spotted Pennant or the Seaside Dragonlet.
State Rank S5
State Status
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
Other Name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2023-01-16 18:02:37

Photo Gallery for Needham's Skimmer   35 photos are available.
Only the most recent 30 are shown.
Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Matt Spangler

Comment: Dare; OBU, 2022-08-19, Run Hill SNA RUHI
Photo 2 by: Amy Padgett

Comment: Bladen, 2022-08-07, Swampy early successional cutover just southeast of Clarkton. 34.4604, -78.638358 , iNaturalist #130007702 - Female.
Photo 3 by: R. Newman

Comment: Carteret, 2021-08-12, FOMA
Photo 4 by: B. Bockhahn

Comment: Dare; OBU, 2021-06-19, Run Hill Dune State Natural Area
Photo 5 by: Matt Spangler

Comment: Carteret, 2021-05-21, North River Wetlands Preserve - almost all females
Photo 6 by: Jan Hansen

Comment: New Hanover, 2020-06-26, Basin Trail at Fort Fisher
Photo 7 by: Jan Hansen

Comment: New Hanover, 2020-06-26, Basin Trail at Fort Fisher
Photo 8 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Tyrrell, 2019-06-14, Scuppernong River Interpretive Boardwalk, Columbia
Photo 9 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Jones, 2019-05-31, White Oak River, from Haywood Landing to 7 km upstream and back, by kayak.
Photo 10 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Dare; OBM, 2018-06-29, North Pond, Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
Photo 11 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Craven, 2018-06-16, Swift Creek; 7 km section between Cool Springs Boating Access Area and NC 43 bridge, by kayak
Photo 12 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Chowan, 2018-06-09, Chowan River at Edenhouse Bridge Boating Access Area
Photo 13 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Currituck, 2018-06-09, pond at Currituck Community Park near Maple
Photo 14 by: J. Brown

Comment: Dare; OBU, 2017-07-25, Run Hill State Natural Area
Photo 15 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2017-07-20, Northeast Creek Park, Jacksonville
Photo 16 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Washington, 2017-06-16, Conaby Creek, from boating access area to 2.25 km upstream by kayak
Photo 17 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Dare; OBL, 2015-09-09, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse area - 9 adult males
Photo 18 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Pamlico, 2015-09-04, Upper Broad Creek at Lee
Photo 19 by: Mark Shields

Comment: New Hanover, 2015-08-06, Carolina Beach State Park - along Cape Fear River near marina
Photo 20 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Hyde, 2015-07-08, Mattamuskeet NWR - Estimated 400 perched in grass beside Central Canal Road; many others elsewhere in refuge
Photo 21 by: Curtis Smalling

Comment: Hyde, 2015-06-19, Wildlife Drive, Lake Mattamuskeet - numerous mostly females
Photo 22 by: Kristy Baker

Comment: Currituck, 2015-06-09, Pine Island Audubon Sanctuary - Multiple individuals seen but not counted.
Photo 23 by: Kristy Baker

Comment: Tyrrell, 2015-06-06, Scuppermong Interpretive Boardwalk; More than 1 was seen, but individuals were not counted.
Photo 24 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2013-07-03, Retention pond at Coastal Carolina Community College, Jacksonville
Photo 25 by: Steve Hall and Harry LeGrand

Comment: Bertie, 2012-06-06, Roanoke River Wetlands Game Land, Woods Island Tract. immature male
Photo 26 by: Curtis Smalling

Comment: Dare; Mainland, 2011-07-09, Alligator River NWR - males and females usually seen together
Photo 27 by: Curtis Smalling

Comment: Dare; Mainland, 2011-07-09, Alligator River NWR - males and females usually seen together
Photo 28 by: Curtis Smalling

Comment: Dare; Mainland, 2011-07-09, Alligator River NWR - males and females usually seen together
Photo 29 by: Salman Abdulali

Comment: Dare; OBU, 2010-08-03, Elizabethan Gardens
Photo 30 by: Doug Johnston

Comment: Onslow, 2010-07-26, North Topsail Island