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 COENAGRIONIDAE: Number of records for 2024 = 8
Added in 2024 from a previous year = 1

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e.g., flight data, high counts, and earliest/latest dates can be seen.
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Blue-ringed Dancer (Argia sedula) by Mark Shields
Compare with: Skimming Bluet  
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 Blue-ringed Dancer
Flight Charts
Distribution Occurs over most of the state, but apparently absent in the eastern third or quarter of the Coastal Plain (i.e., the Tidewater areas near Albemarle and Pamlico sounds). Probably present over all of the mountains, but just one record for the southwestern counties.
Abundance Common to locally abundant (at least near the Fall Line) in the Piedmont; fairly common in the western Coastal Plain, but likely uncommon to locally fairly common in the remainder of the Coastal Plain part of the range. Uncommon to locally fairly common in the mountains, but apparently rare (though likely not absent) in the southwestern counties. Presumed absent in the Tidewater zone, from Pamlico Sound to the VA border.
Flight The Piedmont flight occurs from late April to mid-October, sparingly to mid-November. The mountain flight is from mid-May to late September, whereas the Coastal Plain flight occurs from mid-May to mid-October.
Habitat Streams and rivers, typically where somewhat rocky, and usually where there is some herbaceous vegetation along the water. Sometimes around shores of lakes and ponds, and can be found along roads and other corridors away from water.
Behavior Males can perch higher off the water than for other dancers, at times several feet. Females and at times males can often be found well away from water, on dirt tracks.
Comments There have been a few remarkably high counts for the species along the Neuse River below the Falls Lake dam. This is another of the common species of dancers, normally easily found in most parts of the state. The absence of records for the extreme southwestern mountains seems puzzling, considering that range maps include most of the Southeastern states.
State Rank S5
State Status
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
Other Name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2023-01-18 11:03:46

Photo Gallery for Blue-ringed Dancer   36 photos are available.
Only the most recent 30 are shown.
Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Amy Padgett

Comment: Bladen, 2024-07-05, William O Huske Lock and Dam 3, NC - 5:00PM on the shoreline
Photo 2 by: Steve Hall and Parker Backstrom

Comment: Chatham, 2024-06-08,
Photo 3 by: Paul Hart

Comment: Harnett; C, 2023-08-07, Cape Fear River Trail Park
Photo 4 by: Matt Spangler

Comment: Chatham, 2023-06-02, Haw River--Bynum Dam (by kayak)
Photo 5 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Cumberland, 2022-07-03, Cape Fear River - boat access on Person St. in Fayetteville
Photo 6 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Nash, 2022-06-20, Tar River at Battle Park, Rocky Mount
Photo 7 by: Matt Spangler

Comment: Chatham, 2021-08-01, Haw River--Bynum Dam
Photo 8 by: Max Ramey, Aaron Reb

Comment: Wilkes; P, 2021-07-17, Kerr Scott Dam/ Yadkin River (Dam to 1000 ft downstream)
Photo 9 by: p dixon

Comment: Madison, 2020-07-09, Hot Springs area
Photo 10 by: Ruby Sarkar

Comment: Wake, 2020-06-21, This damselfly was seen near the Falls Lake Dam, in Raleigh. It was a hot, sunny summer afternoon. This particular one is a mature male. It had been flying over and around a small pool of water adjacent to the dam.
Photo 11 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Stanly, 2018-08-31, Rocky River @ NC 138
Photo 12 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Yadkin, 2018-08-26, Pilot Mountain State Park; river section
Photo 13 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Montgomery, 2018-08-25, Uwharrie River @ Low Water Bridge
Photo 14 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Harnett; C, 2018-07-13, Cape Fear River Trail Park, Erwin
Photo 15 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Bladen, 2018-07-13, Cape Fear River at William O. Huske Lock and Dam
Photo 16 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Forsyth, 2018-07-08, Winston Lake
Photo 17 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Anson, 2018-07-06, Pee Dee River; 2 km stretch upstream from Diggs Tract Access, by kayak
Photo 18 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Richmond; C, 2018-07-06, Pee Dee River; 2 km stretch upstream from Diggs Tract Access, by kayak
Photo 19 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Davie, 2018-07-03, S. Yadkin River @ Cooleemee boating access
Photo 20 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Forsyth, 2018-07-01, Winston Lake - adult males
Photo 21 by: Vin Stanton, Janie Owens, Gail Lankford

Comment: Madison, 2017-09-19, River Road, north of Hot Springs 35.92085° -82.87313°; Male
Photo 22 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Harnett; P, 2017-07-29 - Raven Rock State Park - Lower Campbell Creek
Photo 23 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Buncombe, 2017-07-25, Ledges River Park, French Broad River - Male and Female
Photo 24 by: Rob Van Epps

Comment: Mecklenburg, 2017-07-08, Mallard Creek between Mallard Creek Church Rd and Harris Blvd.
Photo 25 by: Rob Van Epps

Comment: Mecklenburg, 2017-06-13 - Roosevelt Wilson Park; Davidson
Photo 26 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Columbus, 2016-08-27, Lumber River, between Boardman Boating Access and Lumber River State Park Princess Ann Access
Photo 27 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Robeson, 2016-08-27, Lumber River, between Boardman Boating Access and Lumber River State Park Princess Ann Access
Photo 28 by: Owen McConnell

Comment: Graham, 2014-07-08, white-water input ramp on the Cheoah River
Photo 29 by: Vin Stanton, Doug Johnston, Simon Thompson

Comment: Polk; P, 2012-08-04, Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (FENCE) - Male
Photo 30 by: Steve Hall and Harry LeGrand

Comment: Northampton, 2012-07-13, North shore of the Roanoke River at the US 258 bridge crossing