The Dragonflies and Damselflies of North Carolina
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North Carolina's 188 Odonate species

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Related Species in COENAGRIONIDAE: Number of records added in 2021 = 6
Added in 2020 from previous year = 1 (2011-06-03)

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e.g., flight data, high counts, and earliest/latest dates can be seen.
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Southern Sprite (Nehalennia integricollis) by Mark Shields
Compare with: Sphagnum Sprite  
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 Southern Sprite
flight charts
distribution Most of the central and southern portions of the Coastal Plain and the Piedmont. Thought to be absent from the mountains, but two new (2021) records from this province (Watauga and Madison counties) plus and older one from 2011 (Buncombe County, iNaturalist photo) make it clear that it can be found sparingly in the mountains. Seemingly absent from the northeastern Coastal Plain; however, as it ranges far up the Coastal Plain of the eastern US, the species is likely not absent in the state's northern Tidewater area.
abundance Uncommon (to locally fairly common) or easily overlooked in the southern half of the Coastal Plain, north to Craven and Moore counties. Rare to locally uncommon in the Piedmont portion of the range, and very rare to absent in the northern half of the Coastal Plain, where recorded only from Edgecombe and Halifax counties. Seemingly very rare to absent in the Tidewater region (north of Pamlico Sound). Very rare or overlooked in the mountains.
flight In the Coastal Plain, it flies from mid-April to late October. The Piedmont flight appears to be from early May to mid-September.
habitat Ponds or lakes, but where there is dense grassy vegetation along the margins, where it can easily hide.

See also Habitat Account for General Beaver Ponds and Semi-natural Impoundments
behavior Perches low in dense vegetation. Difficult to see until flushed.
comments This species is so small that it is easily overlooked amid its dense grassy habitats. In fact, Paulson (2011) says that it "Can be very common in dense vegetation". "Very common" is certainly not appropriate for its abundance in NC, except perhaps very locally, as our highest single-day count is just 30 individuals. But, it can be very easily overlooked (because of its size), and thus in all probability is present in possibly 80-90% of the state's counties.
state_status
S_rank S3S4
fed_status
G_rank G5
date_spread [Overwinter:] [Date Spread:] [No Late Date:] [Split on Feb:] [Default:]
synonym
other_name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2021-08-02 11:38:36

Photo Gallery for Southern Sprite   28 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Max Ramey, Aaron Reb

Comment: Watauga, 2021-07-17, Bass Lake - First county record- spotted by Aaron
Photo 2 by: P Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2021-07-08, Hot Springs area
Photo 3 by: John Petranka

Comment: Granville, 2021-06-28, Turtle Pond. Ledge Creek Forest Conservation Area near Stem, NC. - Male.
Photo 4 by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn

Comment: Hoke, 2020-05-14, Nicholson Creek Game Land - males and females
Photo 5 by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn

Comment: Hoke, 2020-05-14, Nicholson Creek Game Land - males and females
Photo 6 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Polk; M, 2019-05-13, meadow beside Cove Creek along trail to Big Bradley Falls, Green River Game Land - female. First record for county.
Photo 7 by: Chris Cohen

Comment: Halifax; C, 2019-05-11, Near White Millpond east of Scotland Neck. iNaturalist record #24955962 - Female
Photo 8 by: Alicia Jackson

Comment: Brunswick, 2018-06-14, next to grassy, isolated pond - female
Photo 9 by: Mark Shields

Comment: New Hanover, 2018-06-01, Carolina Beach State Park (CABE), limesink ponds - 1 male, 1 tandem pair; first record for county
Photo 10 by: Rob Van Epps

Comment: Richmond; C, 2017-10-01, Sandhills Game Land
Photo 11 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Carteret, 2017-05-21 - Patsy Pond
Photo 12 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Scotland, 2017-05-15, 17 Frog Pond, Sandhills Game Land
Photo 13 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Bladen, 2017-05-07, Horseshoe Lake, Suggs Mill Pond Game Land
Photo 14 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Carteret, 2017-04-30 - Many males and females seen around Patsy Pond in eastern Croatan National Forest
Photo 15 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Pender, 2016-09-05, Holly Shelter Game Land, ponds
Photo 16 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Carteret, 2016-06-03, ponds along Patsy Pond Nature Trail, Croatan National Forest
Photo 17 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Craven, 2014-06-21 - Several specimens spotted along creek in Croatan National Forest
Photo 18 by: John Petranka

Comment: Orange, 2014-06-14, Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area (OCMO), in vegetation along stream issuing from lowest pond - Photograph of female.
Photo 19 by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Edith Tatum

Comment: Orange, 2013-07-16, Occoneechee Mountain - males, at lower pond
Photo 20 by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Edith Tatum

Comment: Orange, 2013-07-16, Occoneechee Mountain - males, at lower pond
Photo 21 by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Edith Tatum

Comment: Orange, 2013-07-16, Occoneechee Mountain - males, at lower pond; close-up of the cerci/final abdominal segments of this sprite
Photo 22 by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Edith Tatum

Comment: Orange, 2013-07-16, Occoneechee Mountain - males, at lower pond
Photo 23 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Orange, 2013-06-22, Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area - at lower pond
Photo 24 by: S. Hartley

Comment: Moore; C, 2012-06-07, Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve - male
Photo 25 by: Diana and Terry Hibbitts

Comment: Buncombe, 2011-06-03, Lake Powhatan, Pisgah National Forest. iNaturalist record #2697433 - Female
Photo 26 by: R. Emmitt, M. Millard

Comment: Craven, 2007-07-22, Croatan National Forest, Catfish Lake Road
Photo 27 by: E. Corey

Comment: Onslow, 2007-06-13, male photographed at the north end of Haws Run, near ephemeral pools
Photo 28 by: E. Corey

Comment: Onslow, 2007-06-13, male, compare pattern of blue segments at tip of abdomen with Sphagnum Sprite