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 2024-00-00 = 0

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Dusky Dancer (Argia translata) by Rob Van Epps
Compare with: Blue-tipped Dancer  
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 Dusky Dancer
Flight Charts
Distribution Throughout the mountains and Piedmont. Essentially absent from the Coastal Plain, though present along the Fall Line in a few such counties. Two previous reports from the Sandhills/Coastal Plain have now been deleted, as they are sight reports only and are believed to be in error. Oddly, the range map in Paulson (2011) shows it nearly "absent" in the Piedmont of both VA and SC.
Abundance Fairly common in the Piedmont and mountains (at least locally); nowhere truly common, as the peak one-day count is just 17 individuals. Absent, or nearly absent, from the Coastal Plain (including the Sandhills), except near the Fall Line.
Flight In the mountains and Piedmont, mainly late May or early June to late October (Piedmont) and to late September (mountains). Each province has a very early record for mid-April. The few Coastal Plain records are from early July to late September only, meaningless for establishing a flight period at the upper edge of that province.
Habitat A variety of rivers and creeks; scarce at ponds or lakes. Often on rocks in the creek or river.
Behavior Most other dancers are often found well away from creeks, rivers, or ponds. However, this species normally stays close to its shaded creek, perching on rocks or along vegetation along the shore -- where their dark coloration can make them much less conspicuous than other dancer species.
Comments The seeming near-absence of records from the VA and SC Piedmont is puzzling, considering that it not only has been found in nearly all such counties in NC, but that there are some single-day counts in double-digits. One must presume that it is being overlooked, especially in VA.
State Rank S4
State Status
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
Other Name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2023-01-18 11:33:20

Photo Gallery for Dusky Dancer   30 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Richmond; P, 2023-06-03, Great Pee Dee River-portage below Blewett Falls dam - ovipositing in tandem
Photo 2 by: Kevin Metcalf

Comment: Lincoln, 2022-07-16, Catawba River at Rte. 73 bridge and boat access point.
Photo 3 by: Harry LeGrand, Lori Arent

Comment: Orange, 2022-07-04, Johnston Mill Preserve, New Hope Creek - Includes 2 pair in copulation; photo by Lori Arent
Photo 4 by: John Petranka

Comment: Orange, 2021-09-04, NHCBS, Hollow Rock Nature Park, West of Pickett Road, New Hope Creek
Photo 5 by: P Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2021-07-06, River Road, Hot Springs
Photo 6 by: Harry LeGrand, Lori Arent

Comment: Wake, 2020-08-28, Wooten Meadows Park - photo by Lori Arent
Photo 7 by: p dixon

Comment: Madison, 2020-08-16, Hot Springs area
Photo 8 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Yadkin, 2018-08-26, Pilot Mountain State Park; river section
Photo 9 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Montgomery, 2018-08-25, Uwharrie River @ Low Water Bridge
Photo 10 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Forsyth, 2018-07-08, Winston Lake
Photo 11 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Anson, 2018-07-06, Pee Dee River; 2 km stretch upstream from Diggs Tract Access, by kayak
Photo 12 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Forsyth, 2018-07-01, Winston Lake
Photo 13 by: John Petranka

Comment: Orange, 2018-06-24, Brumley Forest Preserve. Along rocky area of Stony Creek upstream of the railroad bridge. - 3 tandem pairs ovipositing.
Photo 14 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Harnett; P, 2017-07-29 - Raven Rock State Park - Campbell Creek
Photo 15 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Buncombe, 2017-07-25, Ledges River Park, French Broad River - Male and Female
Photo 16 by: Rob Van Epps

Comment: Mecklenburg, 2017-07-08, Mallard Creek between Mallard Creek Church Rd and Harris Blvd.
Photo 17 by: Rob Van Epps

Comment: Mecklenburg, 2017-07-08, Mallard Creek between Mallard Creek Church Rd and Harris Blvd.
Photo 18 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Vance, 2017-07-04, Tar River @ SR1101 (Charlie Grissom Rd.) - adult males
Photo 19 by: John Petranka

Comment: Orange, 2014-07-14, Eno River State Park (ENRI). Pleasant Green Access. - 3 males 2 females. Oviposting pair, male with yellowish thoracic color as noted by Paulson when in tandem.
Photo 20 by: Doug Johnston, Vin Stanton

Comment: Graham, 2013-07-16, Lake Santeetlah north of Robbinsville - Male & Female
Photo 21 by: Mark Swanson

Comment: Avery, 2012-09-12 - Possibly two individuals; only one photographed.
Photo 22 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Henderson, 2012-07-03, Fletcher Park, Fletcher - Male
Photo 23 by: Vin Stanton, Doug Johnston, Gail Lankford, Janie Owen

Comment: Madison, 2012-06-15, North of Hot Springs on River Road-French Broad River - Male
Photo 24 by: Vin Stanton, Doug Johnston

Comment: Transylvania, 2011-08-19, Brevard - Female
Photo 25 by: Curtis Smalling

Comment: Watauga, 2011-07-23, along the South Fork of the New River upstream from Todd - pair in wheel with Powdered Dancers
Photo 26 by: Vin Stanton & Virginia Senechal

Comment: Buncombe, 2011-06-24, Beaver Lake, mating pairs along shore on vegetation - Male & Female
Photo 27 by: Paul Hart

Comment: Harnett; P, 2009-08-21, Raven Rock State Park - Seen along edge of Cape Fear River
Photo 28 by: Beth Brinson

Comment: Yadkin, 2008-06-10, Pilot Mountain State Park - Yadkin River Section - Immature male
Photo 29 by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Watauga, 2007-07-12, female
Photo 30 by: R Emmitt, R Rittmaster

Comment: ?, 2004-07-11, mating pair