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 added in 2021 = 1

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Laura's Clubtail (Stylurus laurae) by Doug Johnston
Compare with: Arrow Clubtail   Townes's 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 Laura's Clubtail
flight charts
distribution Essentially throughout the lower elevations of the mountains, the Piedmont, and the upper Coastal Plain. Ranges east only to Halifax, Edgecombe, and Lenoir counties. Only five county records for the mountain province.
abundance Rare and declining across most of the state, and likely absent from the eastern half of the Coastal Plain; certainly has declined in recent years. Most recent records are for the lower mountains and foothills. Though one of the more widespread of the stream clubtails (Stylurus species) in the state, it is quite scarce nowadays and we have a daily peak count of just 2 individuals.
flight Mid-June (rarely from late May) into early October in the Piedmont. In the mountains, the flight is narrower, with records only from mid-July to early October, though it should occur in the latter part of June. In the Coastal Plain, the few records fall between late May and mid-July, though it certainly occurs into the fall season there. In GA it flies from early or mid-June into September (Beaton 2007).
habitat Mainly breeds at small to medium-sized creeks, where clean and with a sandy bottom.
behavior Males are most often seen perched on leaves close to the water. Though they forage during the middle of the day, the species is most active late in the day. Thus, this species can often be difficult to observe because of time of day and infrequency of perching on the ground or in the open.
comments Considering that Dunkle (2000) calls the species "uncommon" throughout its range, and Beaton (2007) calls it "rare and local" in its GA range, and both indicate its difficulty of observation, it is a pleasant surprise that we have over 50 records with dates in the state, covering 37 counties. Even so, nearly all of these records were supplied by Duncan Cuyler in the 20th Century. It is not often encountered nowadays, and always just one or two individuals at any one site. Especially disturbing is the very few recent records from the Piedmont and Coastal Plain, suggesting a strong decline in numbers in these provinces. Its State Rank is therefore moved from S4 to now S2S3, though it stays on the N.C. Natural Heritage Program's Watch List, for now.
state_status W
S_rank S2S3
G_rank G4
date_spread [Overwinter:] [Date Spread:] [No Late Date:] [Split on Feb:] [Default:]
Species account update: LeGrand on 2021-02-05 12:33:11

Photo Gallery for Laura's Clubtail   9 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: B. Bockhahn

Comment: Stokes, 2021-08-24, Patrolling low and perching over Mill Creek at Orrell Road towards susnet
Photo 2 by: username gandalf...

Comment: McDowell; M, 2020-07-19, South of Old Fort along Roy Moore Rd. Lat: 35.577237 Lon: -82.195305 iNat record# 53936204 - Female
Photo 3 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Henderson, 2012-09-26, Fletcher Park, Fletcher - Male
Photo 4 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Henderson, 2012-09-26, Fletcher Park, Fletcher - Male
Photo 5 by: Jason Love, Daniel Sollenberger

Comment: Macon, 2011-09-27, Two were netted by Mountain View Intermediate 6th graders (Ishmael Roots & Katliyn Rodriquez) at Tessentee Bottomland Preserve near the confluence of Tessentee Creek and the Little Tennessee River - Netted (and picture taken) while cruising the bottomlands of Tessentee Bottomland Preserve; one was collected
Photo 6 by: Doug Johnston

Comment: Buncombe, 2011-08-11, north Buncombe County, Leicester patch - Found in spiders web, collected but in poor condition
Photo 7 by: Doug Johnston

Comment: Buncombe, 2011-08-01, north Buncombe County, Leicester patch
Photo 8 by: Doug Johnston

Comment: Buncombe, 2011-08-01, north Buncombe County, Leicester patch
Photo 9 by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Wilkes; P, 2007-10-08