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

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Related Species in CORDULIIDAE: Number of records added in 2021 = 3

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Stygian Shadowdragon (Neurocordulia yamaskanensis) by p dixon
Compare with: Alabama Shadowdragon   Smoky Shadowdragon   Umber Shadowdragon   Cinnamon Shadowdragon  
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Note: these identification tips apply to both sexes. Female depicted here.

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Click on county for list of all its records for Stygian Shadowdragon
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distribution A Northern species, ranging south to the mountains of NC and TN. So far, in NC known from just five counties, but thankfully ranging from the VA state line to the GA state line; however, it has not yet been recorded from the latter state.
abundance Rare to locally quite numerous, but as it is crepuscular, true relative abundance across the mountains is only speculative at the present time. Thankfully, Pete Dixon has been finding large numbers in the past two years (2019-2020) along the French Broad River in Madison County, with an estimate of 30 individuals at dusk -- likely all or nearly all this species -- on one evening in 2019 and a remarkable estimate of 50 of them on one evening in 2020. He has documented the species there with excellent photos, including in the hand. Also notable were four were seen at a site in Ashe County in 2017.
flight Mid-May to at least early July, but this is based on just 15 records with dates.
habitat Larger rivers and lakes, but only where there is much wave action.
behavior This shadowdragon flies even later in the day than the others, typically not flying until sunset, and continuing for another 30 minutes, often flying later on moonlit nights. During the day, all shadowdragons perch in the shade of forests on twigs and leaves, where nearly impossible to find.
comments Not surprisingly, this Northern species has been recorded at just a handful of sites in NC, and it is the only one of the five shadowdragons in NC that occurs in the mountains. The Madison records are from the French Broad River and the Macon record is from the Little Tennessee River. We suspect that the Alleghany record is from the New River, especially as a 2017 record for neighboring Ashe County is from the South Fork New River. Another 2017 record, for Buncombe County, surprisingly turned up in Vin Stanton's yard, though located only 1/4-mile from the French Broad River, its suspected habitat. Pete Dixon provided much new information on its habits with his many 2019-2020 observations in Madison County.


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 2021-02-08 13:13:30

Photo Gallery for Stygian Shadowdragon   11 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: p dixon

Comment: Madison, 2021-05-15, Hot Springs area
Photo 2 by: p dixon

Comment: Madison, 2020-06-09
Photo 3 by: p dixon

Comment: Madison, 2020-06-07, Hot Springs area - large group feeding and mating on the French Broad River, 30 plus mating pairs counted
Photo 4 by: Pete Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2019-06-02, Sunset and then until dark, on the French Broad River, 1/2 mile downstream from Murray Branch - Many of these flying low over the French Broad, area of mixed riffles and eddies, rocky shore, silty bouldery bottom. Much chasing visible and several couples formed in the half hour after sunset. Couples moved to nearby trees. One netted from shore.
Photo 5 by: Pete Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2019-06-02, Sunset and then until dark, on the French Broad River, 1/2 mile downstream from Murray Branch - Many of these flying low over the French Broad, area of mixed riffles and eddies, rocky shore, silty bouldery bottom. Much chasing visible and several couples formed in the half hour after sunset. Couples moved to nearby trees. One netted from shore.
Photo 6 by: Pete Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2019-05-16, Observed in the woods above the cliffs overlooking the French Broad River 1/2 mile downstream from Murray Branch (River Road), 200 yards from the river - resting in the shade on a hot day in the forest near the French Broad
Photo 7 by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt

Comment: Ashe, 2017-06-20, South Fork of the New River at Twin Rivers Campground. Flying fast and low over riffles, flying upstream to pool and repeating that flight pattern. - One male photographed in very low light. Unsure of sex of others. First noticed activity at ca. 8:30 PM (may have begun earlier). Activity ended abruptly at ca. 8:50 PM. Sunset was at 8:46 PM.
Photo 8 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Buncombe, 2017-06-18, 1/4 mile from French Broad River, my yard - Female, captured early AM chilled in fridge before imaging
Photo 9 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Buncombe, 2017-06-18, 1/4 mile from French Broad River, my yard - Female, captured early AM chilled in fridge before imaging
Photo 10 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Buncombe, 2017-06-18, 1/4 mile from French Broad River, my yard - Female, captured early AM chilled in fridge before imaging
Photo 11 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Buncombe, 2017-06-18, 1/4 mile from French Broad River, my yard - Female, captured early AM chilled in fridge before imaging