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 = 0

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Rusty Snaketail (Ophiogomphus rupinsulensis) by Ted Wilcox
Compare with: Edmund's Snaketail   Appalachian Snaketail   Maine Snaketail   Brook Snaketail  
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Note: these identification tips apply to both sexes. Male depicted here.

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distribution Northern, ranging south to extreme northwestern NC and TN. Known in NC only from Alleghany and Ashe counties, where first reported (photos) in 2006. The only records so far are from the New River (which includes the South Fork of this river).
abundance Certainly must be very rare in NC. Within its fairly broad/wide range, however, Dunkle (2000) calls it "fairly common".
flight The NC records fall between 28 May and 6 July. However, Mead (2003) gives a wide range from mid-May to mid-August for the MN area, and Dunkle (2000) gives "Early May to late Sep."; this is a remarkably wide spread of flight dates for any clubtail!
habitat Large streams and rivers, where water is clear, with rapids and riffles.
behavior Adults, where present, are rather easily seen, as they often perch on dirt or other ground or low vegetation. As with most clubtails, males often perch on rocks in the rivers while guarding territories.
comments This species had been reported to occur in NC in one or more references prior to 2006, though we were aware of no documentation, and Duncan Cuyler had no specimen data for the species in NC. Fortunately, while photographing dragonflies at the Alleghany County section of New River State Park on 28 May and again on 22 June, 2006, Ted Wilcox documented this species along the margins of the New River with excellent photographs. Sharon Watson photographed one along the South Fork New River in central Ashe County on 6 July 2019.
state_status SR
S_rank S1
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 2021-02-04 19:07:45

Photo Gallery for Rusty Snaketail   5 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Sharon Watson

Comment: Ashe, 2019-07-06, South Fork of the New River east of Jefferson
Photo 2 by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Alleghany, 2006-06-22, New River State Park; male
Photo 3 by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Alleghany, 2006-05-28, immature female
Photo 4 by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Alleghany, 2006-06-22, male, same individual as above
Photo 5 by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Alleghany, 2006-06-22, immature female