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 = 7
Added in 2024-00-00 from a previous year = 1

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Citrine Forktail (Ischnura hastata) by John Petranka
Compare with:   Distinctive
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 Citrine Forktail
Flight Charts
Distribution Statewide, found in all 100 counties.
Abundance Very common to locally abundant in the Coastal Plain, and common westward. There are several counts of 1,000 individuals in a day, and others with over 100 individuals; most of these are in the Sandhills region of the Coastal Plain, but there are now several triple-digit counts for a coastal county (Carteret).
Flight A very long flight period. Primarily late February to mid-January in the Coastal Plain, but has been recorded in all months in the province. The Piedmont flight is from mid-March to late November, whereas in the mountains the flight is from early April to late October or early November. There is also a record for mid-February in the Piedmont.
Habitat Lakes or ponds with much grassy vegetation around the margins; bogs, marshes. May also be found along slow-moving rivers.
Behavior Perching low within vegetation, this tiny damsel can be difficult to spot, though the bright colors of mature males and immature females are helpful. Typically flies in a slow, hovering manner keeping within vegetation. Both sexes and all ages often occur together.
Comments This is certainly one of the most abundant odonates (not just damselflies) in NC, from the coast to the mountains. As all forktails are very small (barely an inch long if that), they can be easily passed over unless you carefully inspect the grasses and sedges along the shoreline.
State Rank S5
State Status
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
Other Name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2023-01-18 17:14:55

Photo Gallery for Citrine Forktail   52 photos are available.
Only the most recent 30 are shown.
Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Matt Spangler

Comment: Chatham, 2023-06-09, Jordan Lake Educational State Forest
Photo 2 by: Charles Williams, Laura Williams

Comment: Guilford, 2022-08-19, Neighborhood Retention Pond 36.172639, -79.793329 - Male pic at 10:11 AM and Female pics at 5:42 PM
Photo 3 by: Charles Williams, Laura Williams

Comment: Guilford, 2022-08-19, Neighborhood Retention Pond 36.172639, -79.793329 - Male pic at 10:11 AM and Female pics at 5:42 PM
Photo 4 by: Charles Williams, Laura Williams

Comment: Guilford, 2022-08-19, Neighborhood Retention Pond 36.172639, -79.793329 - Male pic at 10:11 AM and Female pics at 5:42 PM
Photo 5 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Cumberland, 2022-07-04, Jessup's Mill Pond - ad.males
Photo 6 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Carteret, 2022-04-13, Fort Macon State Park
Photo 7 by: John Petranka

Comment: Orange, 2022-03-21, NHCBS, Hollow Rock Nature Park, West of Pickett Road, Loop Trail
Photo 8 by: P Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2021-07-10, Hot Springs area - female
Photo 9 by: P Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2021-07-06, Hot Springs area
Photo 10 by: Matt Spangler

Comment: Richmond; C, 2021-05-06, Lake McKinney (lake & hatcheries)
Photo 11 by: p dixon

Comment: Madison, 2020-08-12, Pond at Wolf Laurel exit, I-26
Photo 12 by: Rob Van Epps, Kevin Metcalf

Comment: Richmond; C, 2020-04-26, Lake McKinney fish hatchery
Photo 13 by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin

Comment: Yancey, 2019-07-30, Mount Mitchell State Park at 5820' - in seepage area.
Photo 14 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 15 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Mitchell, 2019-05-16, Living Waters Campground, Glen Ayre. - male at small pond
Photo 16 by: Aaron Edmonds

Comment: Harnett; C, 2019-03-22, Immature Female- Campbell University- Marshbanks Property
Photo 17 by: Owen McConnell

Comment: Graham, 2018-07-05, Field on Yellow Creek Rd. about 400 yds west of water pipeline crossing - male
Photo 18 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Pamlico, 2018-06-22, retention pond east of McDonald's on NC 55, Grantsboro
Photo 19 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Beaufort, 2018-05-25, Voice of America Game Land
Photo 20 by: Mark Shields and Hunter Phillips

Comment: Rockingham, 2018-05-13, Mayo River State Park (MARI) - Mayo Mountain Access - around ponds near park office
Photo 21 by: Mark Shields

Comment: New Hanover, 2017-12-19, Carolina Beach State Park (CABE), limesink ponds - 21 singles, 1 pair in wheel
Photo 22 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Buncombe, 2017-08-13, Woodfin Riverside Park; Lat: 35.63133 Long -82.60006 - Male
Photo 23 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Scotland, 2017-05-15, Scotland Lake and in-flowing creek, Sandhills Game Land
Photo 24 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Camden, 2017-04-14, Dismal Swamp State Park (DISW)
Photo 25 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Carteret, 2016-03-13, ponds along Patsy Pond Nature Trail, Croatan National Forest
Photo 26 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2015-12-15, Stones Creek Game Land
Photo 27 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Pender, 2015-11-17, Holly Shelter Game Land
Photo 28 by: Owen McConnell

Comment: Graham, 2014-07-14, Tulula Wetlands
Photo 29 by: Doug Johnston, Vin Stanton

Comment: Graham, 2013-07-16, Tulula Bog - Male & Female
Photo 30 by: John Petranka

Comment: Orange, 2013-06-30, Johnston Mill Preserve, along New Hope Creek at powerlines. - Male.