The Dragonflies and Damselflies of North Carolina
Home Page Search Odonate Resources
LoginNC Biodiversity Project

North Carolina's 189 Odonate species

«      »

Sort Species by: Family   Scientific Name       [ Undocumented ]
Related Species in GOMPHIDAE: Number of records for 2022 = 3

PDF has more details,
e.g., flight data, high counts, and earliest/latest dates can be seen.
[View PDF]
Sandhill Clubtail (Phanogomphus cavillaris) by John Petranka
Compare with: Lancet Clubtail   Ashy Clubtail  
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.

[Google images]
Map
Click on county for list of all its records for Sandhill Clubtail
Flight Charts
Distribution Extreme southeastern corner of the state (Bladen and Brunswick counties only); disjunct from the main part of the range in FL and extreme southern GA. Surprisingly, not yet known from SC.
Abundance Very rare and local in NC, but numerous at one or more sites in Bladen County; a remarkable count of 55 was made by Matt Spangler (via kayak) around the shoreline of one bay lake in 2021. Dunkle (2000) calls it "common" in FL, but the fact that the species hasn't been found in SC or most of GA suggests that it must be quite scarce (or absent) away from natural lakes or natural limesink ponds.
Flight Spring to very early summer. NC dates fall between mid-April and mid-June.
Habitat Sand-bottomed lakes and ponds only; so far only at or near natural Carolina bay lakes and limesink ponds. Individuals are often seen along the shoreline of a natural lake, perching on the sand or on twigs/logs in the water. One seen in May 2015, however, was over a mile from the nearest lake and perched on the ground along a roadside.
Behavior Males perch on the ground or in vegetation near natural lakes and ponds.
Comments The subspecies in NC is Phanogomphus cavillaris brimleyi. This subspecies is also found in the panhandle of Florida; the nominate subspecies (P. c. cavillaris) is found throughout the FL peninsula. Ed Corey saw and photographed several individuals on 3-4 June 2008 at bay lakes in Bladen County, to confirm that the species still has a presence in NC. Over 30 additional records were made between 2009 and 2021, at various bay lakes in this county, and thus it is not restricted to just one or two sites. Note, however, that all of the non-Bladen records (i.e., Brunswick County) are from 1992 and earlier; thus, currently it is just known from a single county. In that county, the individuals noted by Cuyler were presumably using the many limesink ponds for their habitat. There has been much survey in recent years at the numerous limesink ponds at Boiling Spring Lakes, and though a number of other rare or uncommon odonate species have been found at them, none have been Sandhill Clubtails.
State Rank S1
State Status SR
Global Rank G4
Federal Status
Synonym Gomphus cavillaris
Other Name Brimley's Clubtail - Phanogomphus cavillaris brimleyi
Species account update: LeGrand on 2022-01-27 13:35:00

Photo Gallery for Sandhill Clubtail   13 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Matt Spangler

Comment: Bladen, 2021-05-24, Jones Lake SP (circumnavigating lake by kayak) - surprisingly high 1x1 count around the entire lakeshore; they seemed to favor perches on dead tree trunks and larger branches sticking out of the water
Photo 2 by: Matt Spangler

Comment: Bladen, 2021-05-24, Jones Lake SP (circumnavigating lake by kayak) - surprisingly high 1x1 count around the entire lakeshore; they seemed to favor perches on dead tree trunks and larger branches sticking out of the water
Photo 3 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Bladen, 2020-05-03, Bay Tree State Natural Area
Photo 4 by: E. Corey

Comment: Bladen, 2019-05-06, Along shore at Bay Tree Lake - 16 males, 1 female
Photo 5 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Bladen, 2017-05-20, - Jones Lake. Two females spotted on trails away from water, two males later at water with Mike Turner
Photo 6 by: John Petranka

Comment: Bladen, 2017-04-17, Jones Lake State Park (JONE). - Females. Recently emerged; on the fishing pier.
Photo 7 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Bladen, 2017-04-16, Bay Tree Lake State Park (BATR)
Photo 8 by: John Petranka

Comment: Bladen, 2016-04-27, Bay Tree Lake State Park
Photo 9 by: Rick Cheicante

Comment: Bladen, 2015-05-03
Photo 10 by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Ed Corey

Comment: Bladen, 2013-06-04, seen at Jones Lake State Park - one seen very well
Photo 11 by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Ed Corey

Comment: Bladen, 2013-06-04, seen at Jones Lake State Park - one seen very well
Photo 12 by: J. Beane

Comment: Bladen, 2012-05-26
Photo 13 by: E. Corey

Comment: Bladen, 2008-06-04, male collected