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

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Sort Species by: Family   Scientific Name       [ Undocumented ]
Related Species in GOMPHIDAE: Number of records for 2024-00-00 = 10

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Lancet Clubtail (Phanogomphus exilis) by Mark Shields
Compare with: Ashy Clubtail   Sandhill 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 females.

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Click on county for list of all its records for Lancet Clubtail
Flight Charts
Distribution Unlike most of the other clubtails in NC, this species ranges throughout the state, occurring in essentially all counties, though there are no records for a few mountain and eastern Coastal Plain counties.
Abundance Common and widespread. Generally the most common and often seen clubtail over most of the state, especially in the Coastal Plain. Presumably not common in the higher mountains.
Flight Mainly in the spring. Downstate, from the end of March to late June, peaking in April and early May. In the mountains, the dates are from mid-April to late July, with a peak in early June.
Habitat Breeds mainly at ponds and small lakes, but also at streams.
Behavior Adults frequently perch on dirt roads, sunny trails, and other bare areas, often a long way from water. They also perch on low vegetation near water.
Comments Over most of the state, this and the similar Ashy Clubtail are the most frequently observed clubtails by the average person, as both frequently perch on dirt roads and are rather unwary. Differentiating between the two can be somewhat tricky, though the Lancet is slightly smaller, slimmer, and brighter-colored, among several other field marks.
State Rank S5
State Status
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
Synonym Gomphus exilis
Other Name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2023-01-10 12:38:17

Photo Gallery for Lancet Clubtail   53 photos are available.
Only the most recent 30 are shown.
Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: P Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2024-03-10, Hot Springs area, pond
Photo 2 by: Lynn Swafford

Comment: Pitt, 2021-05-24, Pond in Farmville, NC near disk golf course
Photo 3 by: John Petranka, Jim Petranka, Becky Elkin

Comment: Yancey, 2021-05-24, Along Cane River south of Burnsville. - Both sexes.
Photo 4 by: Lynn Swafford

Comment: Nash, 2021-05-21,
Photo 5 by: p dixon

Comment: Madison, 2020-06-02, Hot Springs area, French Broad River
Photo 6 by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn

Comment: Richmond; C, 2020-05-13, Naked Creek along the road
Photo 7 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Bladen, 2020-05-08, South River at Sloan's Bridge Boating Access Area
Photo 8 by: p dixon

Comment: Madison, 2020-05-04, Hot Springs area
Photo 9 by: p dixon

Comment: Madison, 2020-05-03, French Broad River, Hot Springs area
Photo 10 by: Barbara McRae

Comment: Macon, 2019-06-04, Female, feeding; Little Tennessee River, Franklin
Photo 11 by: Mark Swanson

Comment: Avery, 2019-06-03, - Male photographed near Linville River.
Photo 12 by: John Petranka

Comment: Burke; M, 2019-05-21, Linville River at Linville Falls Campground, Blue Ridge Parkway. - Males.
Photo 13 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Mitchell, 2019-05-16, Living Waters Campground, Glen Ayre. - around edges of ponds. First record for county.
Photo 14 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Polk; M, 2019-05-13, Green River, Green River Game Land
Photo 15 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Alleghany, 2018-06-17, Little Glade Mill Pond at mile marker 230 on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Photo 16 by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt.

Comment: Rockingham, 2018-05-22, Mayo River State Park. Upper pond at headquarters. - Incuding female knocked into water by Unicorn Clubtail, fished out, photographed and released.
Photo 17 by: Mark Shields and Hunter Phillips

Comment: Rockingham, 2018-05-13, Mayo River State Park (MARI) - Mayo Mountain Access - around ponds near park office
Photo 18 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Johnston, 2018-05-01, Little River at Rains Mill Road bridge, Princeton
Photo 19 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Lenoir, 2018-05-01, Neuseway Nature Park, Kinston
Photo 20 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Anson, 2018-04-21, Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge
Photo 21 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Buncombe, 2017-06-11, Owen Park, Warren Wilson College - Male
Photo 22 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Pender, 2017-05-07, Shelter Creek Boating Access Area
Photo 23 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Bladen, 2017-04-16, South River at Sloan's Bridge
Photo 24 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Camden, 2017-04-14, Dismal Swamp State Park (DISW)
Photo 25 by: Curtis Smalling

Comment: Robeson, 2017-04-12, at WRC put in on river - 34.591680, -78.983892 - pretty common sunning in grass
Photo 26 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Columbus, 2017-04-12, Waccamaw River from Pireway Boating Access Area to 6 km upstream
Photo 27 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Brunswick, 2017-04-12, Waccamaw River from Pireway Boating Access Area to 6 km upstream
Photo 28 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Jones, 2017-04-11, Weetock Trail near Haywood Landing, Croatan National Forest
Photo 29 by: Owen McConnell

Comment: Graham, 2016-06-09, Tuskeegee Motel Pond, female. More than average amount of yellow on S8-S10.
Photo 30 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2016-04-10, my property, Holly Ridge