The Dragonflies and Damselflies of North Carolina
Home Page Search Odonate Resources
LoginNC Biodiversity Project

North Carolina's 188 Odonate species

«      »

Sort Species by: Family   Scientific Name       [ Undocumented ]
Related Species in LESTIDAE: Number of records added in 2021 = 3

PDF has more details,
e.g., flight data, high counts, and earliest/latest dates can be seen.
[View PDF]
Elegant Spreadwing (Lestes inaequalis) by Mike Turner
Compare with: Amber-winged Spreadwing   Swamp Spreadwing  
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.

[Google images]
map
Click on county for list of all its records for Elegant Spreadwing
flight charts
distribution Throughout the Coastal Plain -- except perhaps absent along parts of the immediate coast -- westward to the central Piedmont; thus, the eastern half of the state, plus scattered in the mountains (six county records). Interestingly, Paulson's (2011) range map shows the entire state within the range, as the species is present throughout the eastern half of the country. With the recent mountain records, it must be assumed to occur in the intervening western half of the Piedmont, as well. A recent (2018) sight record, of five individuals, from Alleghany County is the only record for the northwestern quarter of the state.
abundance Despite records for most of the counties within the eastern part of the range, we have barely 25 recent records. Thus, it seems to be uncommon over the eastern Piedmont and most of the Coastal Plain, and likely is rare in many areas close to the coast (where there are no records for most counties that border the coast). Rare in the southern mountains, but absent to very rare over the northern mountains and the western Piedmont.
flight The flight period in both the Coastal Plain and the Piedmont is from early May to late September. The relatively few mountain records fall between mid-May and late August.
habitat Ponds and lakes with emergent vegetation, including marshes. It also occurs along slow-moving streams, as long as marshy vegetation is present.

See also Habitat Account for General Beaver Ponds and Semi-natural Impoundments
behavior
comments The relative scarcity of recent records, especially in the Coastal Plain, is puzzling. Perhaps it is being overlooked, but there are also few biologists currently working in the Coastal Plain, especially on damselflies, and particularly in the northern half of the province.
state_status
S_rank S4
fed_status
G_rank G5
date_spread [Overwinter:] [Date Spread:] [No Late Date:] [Split on Feb:] [Default:]
synonym
other_name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2021-02-11 14:38:35

Photo Gallery for Elegant Spreadwing   13 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: B. Bockhahn

Comment: Jackson, 2020-08-26
Photo 2 by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger

Comment: Scotland, 2020-06-08, Scotland Lake
Photo 3 by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger

Comment: Scotland, 2020-06-08, Scotland Lake
Photo 4 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Transylvania, 2018-06-27, Gorges State Park (GORG) - female at Raymond Fisher Pond. First record for county.
Photo 5 by: Barbara McRae

Comment: Macon, 2018-05-15, Franklin, Little Tennessee River, wetland near Greenway - female
Photo 6 by: Barbara McRae

Comment: Macon, 2018-05-13, Franklin, Little Tennessee River, wetland near Greenway - Immature male; ID’d from cerci detail.
Photo 7 by: John Petranka, Jim Petranka

Comment: Buncombe, 2016-06-06, Sandy Bottom Preserve, near junction of NC Hwy. 191 and Parkway Crescent Pond area. 2 males; 1 mature, 1 teneral.
Photo 8 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Jones, 2015-07-12, Brock Millpond, Trenton
Photo 9 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Orange, 2013-06-29, Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area - males; lower pond
Photo 10 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Onslow, 2012-09-04 - Male found in temporary pool along Cowhorn Creek
Photo 11 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Wake, 2012-08-03, Lake Raleigh - 1 each male and female (male photographed)
Photo 12 by: Paul Scharf

Comment: Warren, 2009-07-15 - female, Hubquarter Creek, Lake Gaston
Photo 13 by: Paul Scharf

Comment: Warren, 2009-07-15 - female, Hubquarter Creek, Lake Gaston. Same individual as in previous photo. Comment from Dennis Paulson: "Sometimes it's difficult to distinguish between L. vigilax and L. inaequalis. One of the field marks is the underside of the ovipositor, dark in inaequalis and pale in vigilax. From that alone, yours should be inaequalis. Another field mark is that inaequalis has the outer side of the tibiae pale, and that is evident in the front leg on the side view. L. inaequalis often has a brighter metallic green thorax than vigilax."