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


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Related Species in COENAGRIONIDAE: Number of records added in 2022 = 0

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Duckweed Firetail (Telebasis byersi) by Mark Shields
Compare with: Eastern Red Damsel  
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 Duckweed Firetail
flight charts
distribution Throughout the Coastal Plain, but essentially absent from the adjacent Piedmont, though there are recent records for the eastern portion (Orange and Anson counties). Absent from the mountains. Possibly absent in some coastal counties in the northeastern Coastal Plain.
abundance Seemingly local. Uncommon and local over much of the Coastal Plain, but can be fairly common in a few places, as witnessed by a one-day count of 45; there are a few other counts of 20 or more. Very rare in the Piedmont portion of the range.
flight The records fall between mid-May to late September, though there is a recent (2019) sight record for mid-April at a location (Merchants Millpond State Park) with numerous records.
habitat As the name implies, found mostly at ponds or swampy pools where there are dense stands of duckweeds.

See also Habitat Account for Coastal Plain Herbaceous Ponds and Sloughs
behavior Commonly perches on duckweed or other floating vegetation.
comments The male is so bright red that, where present, it should be obvious. The scarcity of recent records from the inner half of the Coastal Plain, including the Sandhills, is surprising if not disturbing. There has been much effort in sampling Sandhills lakes and ponds in recent years, and this striking species is not being reported there -- yet has been found at a few sites farther west in the eastern Piedmont.
S_rank S3S4
G_rank G5
date_spread [Overwinter:] [Date Spread:] [No Late Date:] [Split on Feb:] [Default:]
Species account update: LeGrand on 2022-01-03 17:09:18

Photo Gallery for Duckweed Firetail   13 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Ashwin Srinivasan

Comment: Orange, 2019-09-30, UNC - Chapel Hill -- photo of male - photo in iNaturalist
Photo 2 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Dare; OBU, 2018-06-29, Nags Head Woods Preserve - Males on ponds. First record for county
Photo 3 by: F. Williams, S. Williams

Comment: Gates, 2017-08-27, Merchants Millpond State Park - Pair ovipositing
Photo 4 by: Lynn Swafford

Comment: Beaufort, 2017-06-27,
Photo 5 by: Conrad Wernett, Alyssa Wernett

Comment: Columbus, 2017-05-28 - Lake Waccamaw. Two single males, and one pair ovipositing near boat ramp near the state park.
Photo 6 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Pender, 2016-08-04, Holly Shelter Game Land, Greentree impoundment along Northeast Cape Fear River
Photo 7 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Jones, 2016-08-04, Brock Mill Pond, Trenton
Photo 8 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Beaufort, 2016-07-08, Goose Creek State Park
Photo 9 by: Chris and Cheryl Talkington

Comment: Anson, 2014-08-24, flew into my car and landed on my dashboard while driving the wildlife loop
Photo 10 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Onslow, 2014-06-28 - Males and females in duckweed covered borrow pond.
Photo 11 by: Alicia Jackson

Comment: Tyrrell, 2014-06-24, Palmetto-Peartree Preserve - Male
Photo 12 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Jones, 2014-06-22 - Pairs and individuals spotted along bank at Brock
Photo 13 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Onslow, 2012-08-04 - Copulating Pair