The Dragonflies and Damselflies of North Carolina
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North Carolina's 189 Odonate species

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Related Species in GOMPHIDAE: Number of records for 2024-00-00 = 0

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Shining Clubtail (Stylurus ivae) by Marion Dobbs. 2008-09-11 Gadsden County, FL
Compare with: Russet-tipped Clubtail  
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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 Shining Clubtail
Flight Charts
Distribution Strictly the southeastern portion of the state -- the southern 35-40% of the Coastal Plain in particular. It ranges (or ranged) north to Moore, Sampson, and Jones counties. These counties represent (or represented) the northeastern end of the range of this Southeastern species. Sadly, despite much field work in the fall season, no one has re-found the species in the state in recent decades (none since 1994), though it does occur now not far south of the state line in SC.
Abundance Formerly (prior to about 1995), it was uncommon; however, there are no more recent records, despite considerable searching (often by canoe and kayak) in the proper season (fall). Thus, as of now, the species is rare at best. Without doubt it has strongly declined, but the reasons are not clear. As a result, the former State Rank of S2S3 was strongly upgraded to S1? in late 2020 by the N.C. Natural Heritage Program. It must still be assumed to occur in the state, as it is found nearby in SC, and as there are records in NC from 10 counties.
Flight One of the very few "autumn-only" dragonflies in NC, though technically it begins it flight in August. The flight in the state occurs between mid-August and mid-October, peaking in late September and early October.
Habitat Sandy creeks or small rivers, where waters are clean.
Behavior Males typically forage in fields or clearings, perching conspicuously. They patrol over streams in a slow manner, often with some hovering.
Comments This is a dragonfly that likely can be identified in flight over water, owing to the glowing bright yellow or golden-yellow club, its overall yellow color, and the fairly late flight period. The more numerous Russet-tipped Clubtail has a more orange/red club. Several observers, especially Mark Shields, have specifically searched for the species from 2016-2018, with no luck. Thus, the absence of any records since the early 1990s, for a readily identified species, is alarming and almost certainly indicates a clear decline in the state. At least, there are several recent records from the SC Coastal Plain, where the species is obviously less rare than in NC. Odonate enthusiasts are now "trekking" to nearby sites in SC to see this species for the first time; at least, that gives them experience with the species and what to look for (habitats, behavior, etc.) in NC.

State Rank S1?
State Status SR
Global Rank G4
Federal Status
Other Name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2021-12-26 16:12:57

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