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 = 2

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Arrow Clubtail (Stylurus spiniceps) by Richard Stickney
Compare with: Laura's Clubtail   Townes's Clubtail  
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Note: these identification tips apply specifically to mature males; features may differ in immature males and females.

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Click on county for list of all its records for Arrow Clubtail
flight charts
distribution Essentially throughout the mountains and Piedmont foothills, and sparingly east in the Piedmont to Rockingham County. A record for Chatham County, far to the east and southeast of other records, might be of a stray. A 2020 photo record from the immediate coast in Carteret County was a shock, and certainly was of a stray individual.
abundance Rare to locally uncommon in the mountains and foothills. Rare into the northern Piedmont, at least away from the foothills.
flight Mainly in late summer and fall, but many dates starting in early summer. Flight is from mid- or late June to late October; generally from mid-August into early October.
habitat Large rivers, less so at large streams or at lakes. Favors sandy bottoms.
behavior Males are very strong fliers and may forage a long distance from water, in fields and other places. As with other Stylurus species, males in particular may perch on a leaf and hang vertically on it as the leaf bends under the weight of the insect. They also forage in large flights over water.
comments This large species has an unusually long (and slender) abdomen, giving rise to the common name, as it does resemble an arrow in some respects. It is not one of the rarer clubtails in the mountains and foothills; however, because it flies mostly in very late summer and autumn, after much of the odonate field work is done, records have been somewhat slow to accumulate. There are still less than 30 records for the mountain province, though we do have a number of recent photographs.

A re-evaluation of records of the species, and with the fact that there were no state records at all in 2019, suggest that the State Rank should best be moved up to a less numerous S3, instead of S3S4. However, the State Rank remains at S3S4 for now. At least, there were a gratifying six records for it in 2020.
state_status
S_rank S3S4 [S3]
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 2021-02-05 14:13:55

Photo Gallery for Arrow Clubtail   23 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Pete Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2021-08-24, Hot Springs area - Road kill, River Road
Photo 2 by: Joseph Johnson

Comment: Ashe, 2020-10-19, New River State Park. female
Photo 3 by: Richard Stickney

Comment: Surry, 2020-09-28, Elkin, Crater Park and nearby sewer line right-of-way
Photo 4 by: Max Ramey

Comment: Watauga, 2020-09-08, Valle Crucis. Watauga River near NC 194 bridge. - Male.
Photo 5 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Buncombe, 2020-08-11, Asheville yard - Female
Photo 6 by: JC Besch

Comment: Carteret, 2020-08-08, Landed on observer on the beach at western tip of Emerald Isle. Undoubted stray. iNaturalist #55809384 - Female.
Photo 7 by: JC Besch

Comment: Carteret, 2020-08-08, Landed on observer on the beach at western tip of Emerald Isle. Undoubted stray. iNaturalist #55809384 - Female.
Photo 8 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Surry, 2018-10-06, Mitchell River @ public fishing area along SR 1330 - 2 male 1 female; patrolled middle of river from 4-5pm, occasionally flying up to roost in trees
Photo 9 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Surry, 2018-10-06, Mitchell River @ public fishing area along SR 1330 - 2 male 1 female; patrolled middle of river from 4-5pm, occasionally flying up to roost in trees
Photo 10 by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt.

Comment: Surry, 2018-07-12, Yadkin River, Crater Park in Elkin - Female. Recently emerged next to its exuvia. Barely above the bank on driftwood near the boat ramp.
Photo 11 by: Meshach Hopper

Comment: Yadkin, 2017-08-25, Pinnix Street, Jonesville about 0.25 miles from the Yadkin River. iNaturalist record https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/7648693 - Female.
Photo 12 by: Teddy Wilcox

Comment: Watauga, 2016-10-25, Brookshire Park - female
Photo 13 by: Teddy Wilcox

Comment: Watauga, 2016-10-25, Brookshire Park - female
Photo 14 by: Teddy Wilcox

Comment: Watauga, 2016-09-11, Brookshire Park
Photo 15 by: Teddy Wilcox

Comment: Watauga, 2016-09-07, Boone Greenway
Photo 16 by: Teddy Wilcox

Comment: Watauga, 2016-09-07, Boone Greenway
Photo 17 by: Marion Dobbs

Comment: Jackson, 2012-12-15, Tuckaseegee River @ Dillsboro, N 35.3666 W 83.2510
Photo 18 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Henderson, 2011-09-12, Fletcher Park
Photo 19 by: Vin Stanton, Doug Johnston

Comment: Transylvania, 2011-08-19, Brevard - Male
Photo 20 by: Vin Stanton, Doug Johnston

Comment: Transylvania, 2011-08-19, Brevard - Male
Photo 21 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Henderson, 8/30/2009, Image taken at Fletcher Park
Photo 22 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Henderson, 2009-08-30, Fletcher Park
Photo 23 by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Wilkes; P, 2005-09-13, male