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

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Related Species in GOMPHIDAE: Number of records for 2023 = 0

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Splendid Clubtail (Gomphurus lineatifrons) by Richard Stickney
Compare with: Midland Clubtail   Cobra Clubtail   Cocoa Clubtail   Blackwater Clubtail   Septima's Clubtail  
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Note: these identification tips apply specifically to mature males; features may differ in immature males and in females.

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Map
Click on county for list of all its records for Splendid Clubtail
Flight Charts
Distribution Primarily the northern mountains, but there are a few other old mountain records (and it occurs in the mountains of northern GA). Also a handful of records for the northeastern Piedmont (Orange and Durham counties), plus one in the northwestern Piedmont (Surry County). Thus, it might occur in much of the northern Piedmont.
Abundance Not rare in the northern mountains (uncommon to fairly common?), as Ted Wilcox has a number of photographs from Ashe and Alleghany counties on his website. Presumed to be very rare in the remainder of the mountains, and in the northern Piedmont. Certainly very rare if not absent in the intervening northern Piedmont.
Flight Late spring and early summer. In the mountains from mid-May to late June; in the Piedmont, probably a week or two earlier, beginning in early May, and flying into June.
Habitat Breeds at clear rivers and creeks, with gravel bottoms.

See also Habitat Account for Piedmont and General Rocky Rivers
See also Habitat Account for General Rivers and Large Streams
Behavior Males perch on rocks in the rivers or creeks, or on the ground or low vegetation nearby.
Comments This is a large and colorful clubtail; males have a large club. Beginners might mistake it for the common Black-shouldered Spinyleg, though that species has a much smaller club. In the northeastern Piedmont, nearly all records are from the Eno River, and a record in 2018 came from the Yadkin River (for a new river basin record). There are quite a few recent records for the species, but these tend to come from the same few locales and rivers, with very few new locations reported in recent years. Thus, it should remain on the N.C. Natural Heritage Program's Rare List.
State Rank S2
State Status SR
Global Rank G4
Federal Status
Synonym Gomphus lineatifrons
Other Name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2021-12-22 09:55:18

Photo Gallery for Splendid Clubtail   26 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Ashe, 2021-06-23, New River State Park - Wagoner Access - male
Photo 2 by: John Petranka

Comment: Ashe, 2021-06-08, New River State Park Elk Shoals Section.
Photo 3 by: John Petranka

Comment: Orange, 2021-06-06, Eno River State Park, Pleasant Green Access. - Exuvia
Photo 4 by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger

Comment: Alleghany, 2020-06-03, New River State Park
Photo 5 by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger

Comment: Alleghany, 2020-06-03, New River State Park
Photo 6 by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger

Comment: Alleghany, 2020-06-03, New River State Park; photo by K. Kittelberger
Photo 7 by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger

Comment: Alleghany, 2020-06-03, New River State Park; photo by K. Kittelberger
Photo 8 by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger

Comment: Alleghany, 2020-06-03, New River State Park; photo by K. Kittelberger
Photo 9 by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger

Comment: Alleghany, 2020-06-03, New River State Park; photo by K. Kittelberger
Photo 10 by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger

Comment: Alleghany, 2020-06-03, New River State Park; photo by K. Kittelberger
Photo 11 by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger

Comment: Alleghany, 2020-06-03, New River State Park; photo by K. Kittelberger
Photo 12 by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger

Comment: Alleghany, 2020-06-03, New River State Park; photo by K. Kittelberger
Photo 13 by: B. Bockhahn, J. Thomson

Comment: Durham, 2020-05-15, Perched on rocks in river
Photo 14 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Surry, 2018-06-10, Crater Park, Yadkin River, Elkin
Photo 15 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Surry, 2018-06-10, Crater Park, Yadkin River, Elkin
Photo 16 by: Curtis Smalling

Comment: Watauga, 2016-05-30, Meat Camp Creek
Photo 17 by: Curtis Smalling

Comment: Watauga, 2016-05-30, Meat Camp Creek
Photo 18 by: Richard Stickney

Comment: Durham, 2016-05-10, Eno River State Park
Photo 19 by: John Petranka

Comment: Orange, 2015-05-27, Eno River State Park (ENRI). Pleasant Green Access. Perched on trail in power line clearing just upstream from parking area. - Female. Very tame.
Photo 20 by: Randy Emmitt

Comment: Durham, 2002-05-23, Eno River State Park - Cole Mill
Photo 21 by: R Emmitt

Comment: Orange, 2002-05-07, Eno River State Park
Photo 22 by: Randy Emmitt

Comment: Orange, 2001-05-25, this female I found at Duke Forest in a powerline clearing.
Photo 23 by: Steve Hall

Comment: Orange, 1991-05-29, Eno River State Park, in riffles upstream from Few. First report for Orange County.
Photo 24 by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Ashe, 2006-05-30, male
Photo 25 by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Ashe, 2005-06-09, male
Photo 26 by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Alleghany, 2006-06-22 - female