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 = 1
Added in 2024-00-00 from a previous year = 1

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e.g., flight data, high counts, and earliest/latest dates can be seen.
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Blue-faced Meadowhawk (Sympetrum ambiguum) by John Petranka
Compare with: Autumn Meadowhawk  
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 Blue-faced Meadowhawk
Flight Charts
Distribution Throughout the Piedmont and the western 3/4th of the Coastal Plain. Apparently absent in far eastern counties (no records east of Gates, Beaufort, and Pamlico counties). Scattered in the mountains, but presumably rare to absent at middle and higher elevations.
Abundance Uncommon to locally fairly common, but easily overlooked, in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain. Rare in the mountains, as well as in the eastern Coastal Plain.
Flight Downstate, occurs from very late May to late November (and sparingly to mid-December in the Coastal Plain), though mainly is present from late July to late October. In the mountains, the meager dates fall between late August and late October. One of the relatively few dragonflies whose peak numbers are in the fall season (e.g., September and early October).
Habitat Small, semi-shaded or shaded pools in floodplains, swamps, or marshes.

See also Habitat Account for General Wet-Hydric Forests
Behavior Although they may perch on or near the ground, adults often perch on twigs or leaves fairly high off the ground, typically 5 feet or higher, and thus are not as readily seen as most other pennants/gliders/skimmers, especially when these perches are along a forest edge. Also, their feeding bouts do not take them often to the margins of pools and ponds.
Comments Males are quite colorful, with their reddish abdomen (with black spots), blue eyes, and blue-green face. But, their habit of perching somewhat high, often in shade or partial shade in moist woods and borders, combined with a fairly small size (under 1.5 inches), makes them hard to become familiar with (despite records for over 75% of the NC counties).
State Rank S5
State Status
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
Other Name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2023-01-24 15:16:21

Photo Gallery for Blue-faced Meadowhawk   45 photos are available.
Only the most recent 30 are shown.
Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Amy Padgett

Comment: Bladen, 2024-05-06, Boggy field 2 miles SE of Clarkton, NC - 10:41AM in a small clearing
Photo 2 by: Amy Padgett

Comment: Bladen, 2023-11-08, Agricultural fields adjacent to swamp 2 miles SE of Clarkton, NC - 3:29PM in fields
Photo 3 by: Kevin Metcalf

Comment: Alexander, 2023-10-19, First Alexander County record in this database. Rocky Face Mountain Recreation Area.
Photo 4 by: Ken Kneidel

Comment: Mecklenburg, 2023-08-17, wooded city park, very small stream nearby
Photo 5 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Pender, 2023-05-07, Sandy Run State Natural Area - teneral males
Photo 6 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2021-12-05, my property, Holly Ridge - female with red abdomen
Photo 7 by: Chuck Smith

Comment: Rowan, 2021-09-28, Eagle Point Nature Preserve. - Including mated pair.
Photo 8 by: Matt Spangler

Comment: Chatham, 2021-09-24, Jordan Lake--Bush Creek Marsh
Photo 9 by: P Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2021-09-19, Hot Springs area
Photo 10 by: Harry LeGrand, Lori Arent

Comment: Durham, 2021-09-19, Flat River impoundments - perched on ground; photo by Lori Arent
Photo 11 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Scotland, 2020-10-18, Sandhills Game Land - male
Photo 12 by: Adam Prince

Comment: Wake, 2020-09-16, Prairie Ridge Ecostation in Raleigh
Photo 13 by: P Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2019-10-25, Broadwing Farm, afternoon, sunny, 70s
Photo 14 by: P Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2019-10-07, Hot Springs
Photo 15 by: P Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2019-10-07, Hot Springs
Photo 16 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Richmond; C, 2018-11-03, Sandhill Game Land-SR 1422 (Ledbetter Rd.) - adult males
Photo 17 by: Joe Donahue

Comment: Alamance, 2018-08-30, 3411 Longview Drive in Burlington
Photo 18 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Yadkin, 2018-08-26, Pilot Mountain State Park - Yadkin River section
Photo 19 by: Mark Shields

Comment: New Hanover, 2017-11-25, Carolina Beach State Park (CABE), limesink ponds - female
Photo 20 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Buncombe, 2017-10-03, Carrier Park, Asheville, 35.56731° N 82.56887° W - Male
Photo 21 by: Vin Stanton, Janie Owens, Gail Lankford

Comment: Madison, 2017-09-19, River Road, north of Hot Springs 35.92085° -82.87313° - Male
Photo 22 by: Vin Stanton, Janie Owens, Gail Lankford

Comment: Madison, 2017-09-19, River Road, north of Hot Springs 35.92085° -82.87313° - Male
Photo 23 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Buncombe, 2017-09-05, Carrier Park, Asheville, 35.56731° N 82.56887° W - Male
Photo 24 by: J. A. Anderson

Comment: Surry, 2017-08-22, Pilot Mountain State Park - Along farm pond at Pilot Creek Access @ -80.496575, 36.361118
Photo 25 by: Mark Shields

Comment: New Hanover, 2016-11-19, limesink ponds at Carolina Beach State Park - 3 pairs in wheel, 1 lone male
Photo 26 by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Caldwell, 2016-09-03, Wagner Property (private) - Males
Photo 27 by: Joe Lafferty

Comment: Brunswick, 2014-10-17, - old Angels Trace Golf Course, Sunset Beach
Photo 28 by: Signa Williams

Comment: Harnett; C, 2014-09-14, Anderson Creek County Park - Female
Photo 29 by: John Petranka

Comment: Alamance, 2014-08-16, Pond at Cedarock Park- Male near inflow to pond.
Photo 30 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Wake, 2014-06-01, Lake Raleigh - female/immature male