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 LESTIDAE: Number of records for 2024-00-00 = 4
Added in 2024-00-00 from a previous years = 3

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e.g., flight data, high counts, and earliest/latest dates can be seen.
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Southern Spreadwing (Lestes australis) by Mark Shields
Compare with: Slender Spreadwing   Carolina Spreadwing   Sweetflag Spreadwing  
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Click on county for list of all its records for Southern Spreadwing
Flight Charts
Distribution Essentially statewide, even to the coast (where many odonates are rare or absent). No records yet from several counties at the southwestern tip of the state, but probably present in all 100 counties. Also lacking a record for well-worked Dare County.
Abundance Fairly common statewide, except for obviously very rare to rare in the southwestern mountains. Does not occur in swarms or in otherwise large numbers, as the peak one-day count is 35 individuals. Can be locally common in some places in the southeastern Coastal Plain.
Flight A remarkably wide flight period, even into early winter. In the Coastal Plain and Piedmont, flies from as early as mid-February to mid-December (rarely near the coast into January). In the mountains, the flight occurs between early April and late September. Interestingly, the flight charts for all three provinces show a dip in records in the heat of summer. The species is not reported to be migratory, but is there some aestivation of individuals in summer, or is this pattern simply a result of different broods?
Habitat Generally around ponds or small lakes, with much vegetation around their margins, including marshes.

See also Habitat Account for General Pond Shorelines
Behavior This spreadwing tends to be slightly more obvious than most others in the genus, as the males may perch more readily on twigs and grass blades over water instead of deep within heavy vegetation.
Comments Until recently, this was considered as a subspecies of the Common Spreadwing; however, that species was split into two species -- Southern Spreadwing and Northern Spreadwing (not in North Carolina). Mark Shields has provided a number of early winter records for the species at a few coastal ponds.
State Rank S5
State Status
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
Other Name Common Spreadwing, Northern Spreadwing
Species account update: LeGrand on 2022-06-16 20:09:57

Photo Gallery for Southern Spreadwing   35 photos are available.
Only the most recent 30 are shown.
Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Kevin Metcalf

Comment: Alexander, 2023-10-19, First Alexander County record in this database. Rocky Face Mountain Recreation Area.
Photo 2 by: Matt Spangler

Comment: Carteret, 2023-06-11, Croatan NF--Patsy Pond area
Photo 3 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Richmond; C, 2023-04-05, Bagget Lake - female
Photo 4 by: Harry LeGrand, Lori Arent

Comment: Granville, 2021-05-20, Butner powerline clearing; photo by Lori Arent
Photo 5 by: B. Bockhahn, A. Early

Comment: Stanly, 2021-04-01, Shallow pool in mountain saddle
Photo 6 by: Matt Spangler

Comment: Chatham, 2021-03-22, - Wet ditch off Corinth Rd. teneral male.
Photo 7 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Hoke, 2020-10-18, Sandhills Game Land - males
Photo 8 by: p dixon

Comment: Madison, 2020-09-28, Hot Springs area
Photo 9 by: C. Taunton

Comment: Wake, 2020-09-10, NC Museum of Art grounds
Photo 10 by: Matt Guilin

Comment: Cabarrus, 2020-05-19, Between Parks Lafferty Rd. and Rocky River along Rocky River Biking Trail - Female.
Photo 11 by: Sarah Stevens, Paul Hart

Comment: Alamance, 2020-05-02, near Snow Camp
Photo 12 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Wilkes; P, 2019-05-26, Wilkes County Sustainable Rest Stop, US 421 near exit 282 - adult male
Photo 13 by: John Petranka, Jim Petranka and party.

Comment: Avery, 2019-05-21, Pond on private property that adjoins the Blue Ridge Parkway in southern Avery County. - Males.
Photo 14 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips, Cathy Songer

Comment: Onslow, 2019-04-07, White Oak River Game Land, upper tract - 7 males, 3 females, including 2 tandem pairs
Photo 15 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Beaufort, 2018-05-25, Voice of America Game Land - 2 males, 1 female
Photo 16 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Pender, 2017-10-15, Holly Shelter Game Land
Photo 17 by: Vin Stanton, Janie Owens, Gail Lankford

Comment: Madison, 2017-09-19, River Road, north of Hot Springs 35.92085° -82.87313° - Male
Photo 18 by: Vin Stanton, Janie Owens, Gail Lankford

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

Comment: Bladen, 2017-05-20, Jones Lake State Park - adult male
Photo 20 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Scotland, 2017-05-15, Small streamhead pond about 150 m west of 17 Frog Pond, Sandhills Game Land
Photo 21 by: Mark Shields

Comment: New Hanover, 2016-11-19, limesink ponds at Carolina Beach State Park - 17 lone males and 3 ovipositing pairs
Photo 22 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2016-11-16, Stones Creek Game Land
Photo 23 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Bladen, 2016-05-27, Jones Lake State Park - female
Photo 24 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Carteret, 2016-05-15, ponds along Patsy Pond Nature Trail, Croatan National Forest
Photo 25 by: Mark Shields

Comment: New Hanover, 2015-08-06, Carolina Beach State Park - at Grass Pond
Photo 26 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2014-05-24, Small pond in Holly Ridge
Photo 27 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Wake, 2012-09-12, Prairie Ridge Ecostation
Photo 28 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Buncombe, 2012-05-14, Richmond Hill Park, Asheville - Male
Photo 29 by: Curtis Smalling

Comment: Watauga, 2011-06-10, all at Meat Camp Creek Environmental Studies Area - female
Photo 30 by: Doug Johnston

Comment: Buncombe, 2010-04-24, northern Buncombe; Leicester patch ponds