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 2022 = 1

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Autumn Meadowhawk (Sympetrum vicinum) by John Petranka, Sally Gewalt
Compare with: Ruby Meadowhawk   White-faced Meadowhawk   Band-winged Meadowhawk   Blue-faced Meadowhawk   Cherry-faced 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 Autumn Meadowhawk
Flight Charts
Distribution Statewide, with records for all but four counties. Probably scarce on the Outer Banks and the eastern "Pamlimarle" Peninsula -- no records yet for Hyde and Dare counties.
Abundance Fairly common and widespread in the mountains and Piedmont; uncommon to (at least formerly) fairly common in the Coastal Plain, but oddly there are few recent records for most of the Coastal Plain. Most numerous in the mountains, where our three largest daily counts have been made. Clearly the most numerous of the meadowhawks in NC. Even so, it does not occur in large numbers, though we now have several daily counts of 25 or more.
Flight Flies from early or mid-June into December, and there are even records for 25-26 December and in early January! The mountain flight starts somewhat later, in mid- to late June. It is probably the most frequently seen dragonfly species in November and December, and the bulk of its flight takes place in fall -- September into November.
Habitat Still waters of ponds, marshes, and slow creeks, typically in wooded or semi-shaded places.
Behavior Adults are frequently seen in fields, powerline clearings, and woodland borders in the fall, often perching on the tips of grasses or forbs or twigs. However, it is a fairly small species and can easily be overlooked.
Comments This species was formerly called the Yellow-legged Meadowhawk, until the common name was changed in 2004. Both common names -- Yellow-legged and Autumn -- are suitable, though other meadowhawks fly in the autumn. Of all of the numerous dragonflies in NC, this is probably the one that observers don't see their first individual until September or even October. Females and immatures are a dull amber/yellow, matching the color of dead grasses, rendering them hard to spot, particularly as they average only 1.0 - 1.4 inches in length.
State Rank S5
State Status
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
Other Name Yellow-legged Meadowhawk
Species account update: Petr on 2022-01-23 21:27:07

Photo Gallery for Autumn Meadowhawk   40 photos are available.
Only the most recent 30 are shown.
Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Mark Swanson

Comment: Buncombe, 2022-01-01, - Very late flyer (January).
Photo 2 by: L. Arent

Comment: Orange, 2021-10-21, Brumley Nature Preserve South
Photo 3 by: p dixon

Comment: Madison, 2020-07-01, Hot Springs area
Photo 4 by: p dixon

Comment: Madison, 2020-06-22
Photo 5 by: p dixon

Comment: Madison, 2020-06-22
Photo 6 by: Paul Hart, Mary Stevens

Comment: Harnett; C, 2020-01-01, Anderson Creek County Park
Photo 7 by: P Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2019-11-11, Hot Springs, by a pond, sunny low 60s, - included 3 mating pairs
Photo 8 by: Aaron Edmonds

Comment: Harnett; C, 2019-11-08, Flat Branch
Photo 9 by: Aaron Edmonds

Comment: Harnett; C, 2019-11-08, Flat Branch
Photo 10 by: P Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2019-10-25, Broadwing Farm, afternoon, sunny, 70s
Photo 11 by: P Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2019-10-01, Hot Springs area, 3-5pm, high 80s
Photo 12 by: P Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2019-10-01, Hot Springs area, 3-5pm, high 80s
Photo 13 by: Jason Love, Paige Engelbrekttson

Comment: Macon, 2019-09-17, Perched on vegetation near shore of Lindenwood Lake (aka Lake Ravenel), Highlands Biological Station - Netted, photo, and released. Male. Photo by Paige Engelbrektsson.
Photo 14 by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn

Comment: Clay, 2019-09-04, Nantahala National Forest
Photo 15 by: F. Williams, S. Williams

Comment: Gates, 2018-12-26, Merchants Millpond State Park - Late date for the park
Photo 16 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Richmond; C, 2018-10-20, Naked Creek @ SR 1003 (Derby Rd.) - female
Photo 17 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Alleghany, 2018-08-18, Little Glade Mill Pond, Blue Ridge Parkway, mile post 230
Photo 18 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Alleghany, 2018-07-28, Doughton Recreation Area, Blue Ridge Parkway
Photo 19 by: Ken Kneidel

Comment: Yancey, 2017-11-01, On dock adjacent to small pond at Arthur Morgan School. - male
Photo 20 by: Rob Van Epps

Comment: Scotland, 2017-10-01, Sandhills Game Land
Photo 21 by: John Petranka

Comment: Burke; M, 2017-09-21, In a small partially shaded pond that was lined with American Bur-reed and other emergent vegetation; on private property just south of Jonas Ridge. - Males.
Photo 22 by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt

Comment: Watauga, 2017-09-04, South Fork of the New River, Clawson-Burnley Park, Boone. - Males. At the retention ponds. Male.
Photo 23 by: Barbara McRae

Comment: Macon, 2017-06-12, Franklin, Little Tennessee River, wetland near Greenway - Female, in vegetation near river
Photo 24 by: Alicia Jackson

Comment: Moore; C, 2015-06-21, in garden, next to Ray
Photo 25 by: Paul Hart

Comment: Harnett; C, 2014-12-19, Anderson Creek County Park
Photo 26 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Wake, 2014-10-27, Anderson Point Park - adult males
Photo 27 by: Owen McConnell

Comment: Graham, 2014-08-23, Tulula Wetlands - immature male
Photo 28 by: Jim Petranka

Comment: Madison, 2014-06-29, two recently emerged individuals observed; one photographed
Photo 29 by: Timothy Deering

Comment: Transylvania, 2013-06-23, Brevard Music Center
Photo 30 by: Steve Hall

Comment: Halifax, 2012-07-20, Roanoke Big Oak Woods, bluff above the river.