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 GOMPHIDAE: Number of records for 2023 = 0

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Skillet Clubtail (Gomphurus ventricosus) by Matthew Daw
Compare with: Riverine Clubtail  
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 Skillet Clubtail
Flight Charts
Distribution A Northern species, ranging south only to the northeastern Piedmont of NC, where it ranges south only to Wake County. Known from just four NC counties.
Abundance Very rare in NC. Even throughout its overall range, Dunkle (2000) calls it rare, and NatureServe gives it a global rank of G3 (rare). Though there are a minimum of 35 records with dates, many seem to be from the same general area and it should not be inferred that the species is not rare. In fact, there are only four records since 2000, and three are from the same two-week period in Wake County in 2010.
Flight Late April to mid-June; records fall between 28 April and 20 June.
Habitat Larger rivers and streams that are fast-flowing, though occasionally at lakes with good water quality.
Behavior Males are most easily seen in short flights out over the water, and they then return to shore to perch, often in grass, in the shade, or other inconspicuous places.
Comments The club is comparatively the widest of any clubtail, it being wider than the thorax width! It is also the smallest Gomphurus species of clubtail. Though rare and very poorly known in NC, it probably can be identified in flight within its small state range; the Cobra Clubtail is somewhat similar but that species has a mostly black abdomen (not as yellow on the dorsal portions of the thorax and abdomen as is the Skillet). It is one of the less common of the dragonflies, as NatureServe has its Global Rank at G3.

There are only a few recent records. The former State Rank of S1S2 has been moved to a straight S1 in late 2020, by the N.C. Natural Heritage Program.
State Rank S1
State Status SR
Global Rank G3
Federal Status
Synonym Gomphus ventricosus
Other Name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2023-01-10 09:57:37

Photo Gallery for Skillet Clubtail   3 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Steve Hall

Comment: Franklin, 2013-05-15, Tar River below Louisburg
Photo 2 by: Steve Hall

Comment: Franklin, 2013-05-15, Tar River below Louisburg
Photo 3 by: Matthew Daw

Comment: Wake, 2010-05-12, Falls Lake State Recreation Area - Neuse River below dam