The Dragonflies and Damselflies of North Carolina
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North Carolina's 189 Odonate species

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Related Species in LESTIDAE: Number of records for 2024-00-00 = 1

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Sweetflag Spreadwing (Lestes forcipatus) by Bonnie Ott. 2013-06-22 Howard County, MD
Compare with: Southern Spreadwing  
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Click on county for list of all its records for Sweetflag Spreadwing
Flight Charts
Distribution This is a northern species whose range extends south only to NC, TN, and northern GA. In the state, it was thought to be limited to the northern third of the state, in the northern mountains and northern Piedmont, with an odd disjunct record for Wilson County. However, "srmyers" photographed a female at a park in Henderson County, in late May 2024. Thus, the range presumably occurs south -- at least in the mountains -- to the SC/GA border.
Abundance Rare or overlooked. Very rare or rare in the Piedmont and the mountains, and presumed extremely rare in the northwestern Coastal Plain. However, the species is quite similar to other spreadwings, and thus is presumably overlooked, as well. It is hoped that more photographs of spreadwings can be posted to iNaturalist (as was the Henderosn County one) or other places where experts can review them for proper species identification.
Flight The Piedmont flight in NC is from early May to early August. The two records (a sight report and a photo one) for the mountains are for late May and early July, whereas the single one for the Coastal Plain is for mid-July.
Habitat Ponds and lakes with emergent vegetation, even in small pools.
Behavior Probably similar to most other spreadwings, along pond margins. However, as hardly anyone alive has seen the species in NC, it is probably inconspicuous, not to mention quite rare and difficult to identify without detailed photos.
Comments For a number of years, the N.C. Natural Heritage Program has kept the species on its Watch List instead of moving it to the Rare List, but in 2020 that program has moved the species to its Significantly Rare list. It is always disappointing to have to make this move, but with essentially no recent reports, there seemed to be no choice. However, the set of five photos from Henderson County in 2024 is the first state record since 2004! And, this seems to represent the first photographic documentation of this species in the state, as well. The State Rank is suggested to be moved up to S1? from S1S2. Thankfully, there is no need now to consider a move to SH (Historical), owing to the 2024 record posted to iNaturalist (and also to this website).
State Rank S1S2 [S1?]
State Status SR
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
Other Name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2024-05-29 15:34:02

Photo Gallery for Sweetflag Spreadwing   3 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: srmyers

Comment: Henderson, 2024-05-28, Westfeldt Park. iNaturalist record #218883447 - Female
Photo 2 by: srmyers

Comment: Henderson, 2024-05-28, Westfeldt Park. iNaturalist record #218883447 - Female
Photo 3 by: srmyers

Comment: Henderson, 2024-05-28, Westfeldt Park. iNaturalist record #218883447 - Female