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 CALOPTERYGIDAE: Number of records for 2024-00-00 = 2
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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American Rubyspot (Hetaerina americana) by John Petranka
Compare with: Smoky Rubyspot  
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 American Rubyspot
Flight Charts
Distribution Throughout the mountains, presumably throughout the Piedmont, and the western third of the Coastal Plain, including the Sandhills. Absent from the eastern 60-65% of the Coastal Plain; absence of records from much of the western Piedmont is perhaps partly due to poor survey coverage but certainly must represent a general scarcity there.
Abundance Common to locally abundant in the mountains, and also in the eastern Piedmont, near the Fall Line. Seemingly quite rare in the western half of the Piedmont, for unknown reasons. Also, rare to very uncommon in the western Coastal Plain/Sandhills.
Flight Late April to early November in the Piedmont; apparently slightly shorter flight period in the mountains -- mid-May to early November. Coastal Plain flight period probably is similar to that of the Piedmont, though currently we have flight dates only from mid-May to mid-October.
Habitat Rocky streams and rivers, generally where clear and with moderate current.

See also Habitat Account for Piedmont and General Rocky Rivers
Behavior Typically seen perched on rocks or stems/twigs very close to the river or large stream, often in somewhat open/sunny conditions.
Comments There are a number of daily counts over 75 individuals, and a few over 500 individuals; yet the range is rather puzzling. Some of these high counts are close to the Fall Line, and others are in the mountains. Yet, how can there be no records at all, much less counts of over 10 individuals, from essentially any foothills county or other counties nearby in the Piedmont? It would seem that there are plenty of suitable rocky streams and rivers in this area. This species is one of the larger and more beautiful of the damselflies, with the deep red/crimson color of the thorax and wing bases of the adult males being quite spectacular in sunlight.
State Rank S5
State Status
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
Other Name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2023-01-17 15:23:26

Photo Gallery for American Rubyspot   27 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Scotland, 2023-09-16, Scotland Lake, Sandhills Game Land
Photo 2 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Nash, 2022-06-20, Tar River at Battle Park, Rocky Mount
Photo 3 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Ashe, 2021-06-23, New River State Park - Wagoner Access
Photo 4 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Ashe, 2021-06-23, New River State Park - Wagoner Access
Photo 5 by: Alicia Jackson

Comment: Hoke, 2020-10-07, Calf Branch, a tributary to Rockfish Creek - At least 2 males & 1 female seen
Photo 6 by: Ruby Sarkar

Comment: Chatham, 2020-07-19, Near Bynum dam on Haw River - Male and both forms of female were seen.
Photo 7 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Stanly, 2018-08-31, Rocky River @ NC 138
Photo 8 by: Scott Pohlman

Comment: Lee, 2018-08-29, totals from islands and shoals within the Deep River, and not on riverbanks - 'dozens' reported
Photo 9 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Caswell, 2018-08-28, Dan River @ NC 57
Photo 10 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Montgomery, 2018-08-25, Uwharrie River @ Low Water Bridge
Photo 11 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Anson, 2018-07-06, Pee Dee River; 2 km stretch upstream from Diggs Tract Access, by kayak
Photo 12 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Harnett; P, 2017-07-29, Raven Rock State Park, Junction of Campbell Creek and the Cape Fear River
Photo 13 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Harnett; C, 2017-07-21, Cape Fear River, Erwin. From NC 217 bridge to 2 km upstream, by kayak. - Abundant
Photo 14 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Mitchell, 2017-06-03, Nolichucky River at Poplar Access Area - females
Photo 15 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Union, 2017-05-15, Rocky River at Randolph Landing, Rocky River Blueway Access and Nature Park
Photo 16 by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt

Comment: Alleghany, 2016-09-06, New River State Park at King
Photo 17 by: John Petranka

Comment: Durham, 2015-05-27, West Point on the Eno Park - On rocks near riffles.
Photo 18 by: John Petranka

Comment: Orange, 2014-07-14, Eno River State Park (ENRI). Pleasant Green Access. - Male
Photo 19 by: Owen McConnell

Comment: Graham, 2014-07-08, Cheoah River at the whitewater input ramp
Photo 20 by: Vin Stanton, Doug Johnston

Comment: Haywood, 2011-06-08, Lake Junaluska
Photo 21 by: Vin Stanton, Doug Johnston

Comment: Madison, 2011-06-05, French Broad River - numerous males and females
Photo 22 by: Doug Johnston

Comment: Madison, 2010-09-14, southern Madison County, Sandy Mush Creek - 1 female, 2 males
Photo 23 by: Doug Johnston

Comment: Buncombe, 2010-08-15, common in the Sandy Mush and Turkey Creek watersheds - Turkey Creek, northern Buncombe County
Photo 24 by: E. Corey

Comment: Alleghany, 2007-07-13, New River State Park - Observed during Hellbender Week, 09-13 July
Photo 25 by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Alleghany, 2007-06-06, male
Photo 26 by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Alleghany, 2007-06-06, female
Photo 27 by: E. Corey

Comment: Alleghany, 2007-07-13, male (by red thorax)