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 GOMPHIDAE: Number of records for 2023 = 0
Added in 2023 from a previous years = 19

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e.g., flight data, high counts, and earliest/latest dates can be seen.
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Eastern Ringtail (Erpetogomphus designatus) by Doug Johnston
Compare with:   Distinctive
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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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Map
Click on county for list of all its records for Eastern Ringtail
Flight Charts
Distribution Mainly found in the Piedmont and the adjacent southwestern Coastal Plain, but finally found in the mountains -- in 2011 in Madison and Buncombe counties (mostly close to the French Broad River), and in Graham County in 2014. (Range maps in references tend to show the western 60-80% of the state within the range, and Paulson [2011] even shows the entire state within the range). Likely occurs in the western Piedmont, where disturbingly lacking of records south and southwest of Yadkin County.
Abundance Rare to locally uncommon in the central and eastern portions of the Piedmont. Rare in the Coastal Plain portion of the range, and obviously rare and local in the lower elevations of the mountains and in the western Piedmont. However, seems to be increasing in numbers and range in the lower Piedmont and upper Coastal Plain, with many records since 2020.
Flight The flight in the Piedmont occurs between late May and mid-October, with the Coastal Plain flight slightly narrower in time -- about mid-June to late September. The mountain records fall in a narrow window between late June and early August, though the flight period there is certainly wider, and likely extends into September.
Habitat Generally at brownwater rivers and wide streams, especially with riffles and somewhat fast flow. All records from the Coastal Plain seem to be close to brownwater rivers -- Tar, Neuse, and Cape Fear.

See also Habitat Account for General Rivers and Large Streams
Behavior Normally stays very close to rivers and streams; but they do stray to open fields, jeep roads, etc., well away from flowing waters. Perches on low vegetation, banks, rocks along shores of rivers and streams.
Comments Until a few years ago, there were very few recent records for this "widespread" species. However, in the past several years there have been numerous records from the Neuse River just below the Falls Lake dam (Wake County), and near the Cape Fear River in the Lillington area (Harnett County). There are also a handful of recent records from Buncombe and Madison counties, mainly not far from the French Broad River. Mike Turner expanded the range eastward to Edgecombe County in summer 2017. This is one of the more "colorful" of the clubtails -- chartreuse and rusty colors, along with the standard black and yellow colors of most clubtails -- and for that reason, it may be the easiest clubtail in the state to identify.
State Rank S3S4
State Status
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
Synonym
Other Name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2023-01-09 16:03:29

Photo Gallery for Eastern Ringtail   33 photos are available.
Only the most recent 30 are shown.
Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Kevin Metcalf

Comment: Stanly, 2022-08-14, - Female. Seen catching and eating a large cranefly (Tipula sp.)
Photo 2 by: Paul Hart

Comment: Harnett; C, 2022-07-30, Harnett County Pollinator Meadow
Photo 3 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Harnett; P, 2022-07-30, Cape Fear Shiner Park
Photo 4 by: iNaturalist username Funnystuff2495

Comment: Cabarrus, Rob Wallace Park, 2021-07-09; Lat: 35.231418 Lon: -80.513397. iNaturalist record #2697433 - Male
Photo 5 by: Ami Thompson, Kevin Gaidurgis

Comment: Nash, 2021-05-30, In Tar River, Battle Park - Rocky Mount - Nymph collected during very low water in riffles downstream of the dam
Photo 6 by: Ami Thompson, Kevin Gaidurgis

Comment: Nash, 2021-05-30, In Tar River, Battle Park - Rocky Mount - Nymph collected during very low water in riffles downstream of the dam
Photo 7 by: Ami Thompson, Kevin Gaidurgis

Comment: Nash, 2021-05-30, In Tar River, Battle Park - Rocky Mount - Nymph collected during very low water in riffles downstream of the dam. Divergent wing sheaths.
Photo 8 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Caswell, 2018-08-28, Dan River @ NC 57
Photo 9 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Davidson, 2018-07-31, Yadkin River @ US 64
Photo 10 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Anson, 2018-07-06, Pee Dee River; 2 km stretch upstream from Diggs Tract Access, by kayak
Photo 11 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Richmond; P, 2018-07-06, Pee Dee River; 2 km stretch upstream from Diggs Tract Access, by kayak - 8 males, 1 female. Males patrolling down middle of river and perched on rocks
Photo 12 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Forsyth, 2018-07-02, Tanglewood Park
Photo 13 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Forsyth, 2018-07-02, Tanglewood Park
Photo 14 by: P Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2018-06-28, Davis Branch
Photo 15 by: Richard Stickney

Comment: Yadkin, 2018-06-24, Park at Yadkin River/NC 67
Photo 16 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Yadkin, 2018-06-23, Pilot Mountain State Park - Yadkin River Section
Photo 17 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Bladen, 2017-09-23, William O. Huske Lock and Dam, Cape Fear River; 34.8349, -78.8252 - adult female
Photo 18 by: Richard Stickney

Comment: Yadkin, 2017-08-28, Yadkin River at NC 67 bridge - First county record
Photo 19 by: Richard Stickney

Comment: Yadkin, 2017-08-28, Yadkin River at NC 67 bridge - First county record
Photo 20 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Edgecombe, 2017-08-04, Tarboro; Etheridge Pond; 35.8699, -77.5279 - female
Photo 21 by: Doug Johnston

Comment: Buncombe, 2015-08-04, Sandy Mush Game Land
Photo 22 by: J. A. Anderson

Comment: Surry, 2015-06-18, Pilot Mountain State Park
Photo 23 by: George Andrews

Comment: Union, 2014-08-23, Cane Creek Park - late afternoon
Photo 24 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Wake, 2012-09-27, Falls Lake-tailrace below the Falls Lake dam - female
Photo 25 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Wake, 2012-08-02, tailrace below the Falls Lake dam - 1 each male and female
Photo 26 by: Conrad Wernett, Ali Iyoob

Comment: Wake, 2012-07-29, - 1 female, 3 males
Photo 27 by: Conrad Wernett, Ali Iyoob

Comment: Wake, 2012-07-29 - 1 female, 3 males
Photo 28 by: Doug Johnston, Vin Stanton

Comment: Madison, 2012-07-22, Sandy Mush Game Land
Photo 29 by: Vin Stanton, Sue Perry

Comment: Buncombe, 2011-08-02, imaged along wooded path, roughly 1000 feet from French Broad River, northern Buncombe County
Photo 30 by: Beth Brinson

Comment: Surry, 2008-06-28, Pilot Mountain State Park - Yadkin River Section - Male