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 = 4

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Banner Clubtail (Hylogomphus apomyius) by Mark Shields
Compare with: Spine-crowned Clubtail   Piedmont Clubtail  
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Note: these identification tips apply specifically to mature males; features may differ in immature males and in females.

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distribution Primarily found in the southwestern quarter of the Coastal Plain, ranging northeastward to the west-central Coastal Plain, and also into the southeastern Piedmont -- west to Catawba and Gaston counties. A photograph in 2019 established a new record for Surry County in the northwestern Piedmont, quite a surprising extension of the range. It is absent from coastal counties. NC lies at the northeastern end of the range, and thus Wilson, Granville (newly found in 2021), and Surry form the northern border of the range.
abundance Uncommon, at least in former years; might now be better stated "rare to uncommon and somewhat poorly known". Perhaps the species has declined in recent decades. Dunkle (2000) calls the species "scarce", and Beaton (2007) calls it "rare and local" in its range in Georgia.
flight Ranges from very early April to early June in the Coastal Plain. In the Piedmont, the flight appears to be slightly narrower -- mid-April to late May.
habitat Generally in clean streams and rivers with sandy or gravelly bottoms.
behavior Males perch on rocks or other perches close to rivers and streams. They are most active early in the morning and toward dusk.
comments This is one of the smaller clubtails (only up to 1.5 inches in length). Males have a very wide club. Despite its range occurring close to the locations of many biologists, it is poorly known to most persons, and thus the N.C. Natural Heritage Program has the species on its Watch List. The species can be easily confused with the Spine-crowned Clubtail; in fact, several former reports and photos listed as Banner Clubtail have been re-evaluated and determined to be Spine-crowned Clubtail. It is likely that this species has declined in the state since the time of Cuyler's collecting efforts; there are relatively few reports since the 1980s, at least in the northern half of the range in the state. Thankfully, Mark Shields and John Petranka have photographically documented new records of the species in spring 2017, along the South River in Sampson and Bladen counties. New county records for Hoke and Scotland were added in 2018, mostly by Mark Shields and Hunter Phillips, though nearly all records for these two counties have come from the same general area along the Lumber River (which forms the boundary between the counties). Richard Stickney photographed the Banner Clubtail from Surry County in 2019. Petranka added new records for Granville County, along the Tar River, in spring 2021.

It still probably should remain on the Watch List, as there is a lack of records from much of the former range (e.g., the southwestern Piedmont and the central Coastal Plain) as documented by Duncan Cuyler with his older collections. In late 2020, the N.C. Natural Heritage Program moved the rank to straight S3, though it stays on the Watch List.
state_status W
S_rank S3
fed_status
G_rank G3G4
date_spread [Overwinter:] [Date Spread:] [No Late Date:] [Split on Feb:] [Default:]
synonym Gomphus apomyius
other_name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2021-07-28 15:04:50

Photo Gallery for Banner Clubtail   14 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: John Petranka

Comment: Granville, 2021-04-28, Tar River at Wilton Slopes - Males
Photo 2 by: Denise Williams

Comment: Robeson, 2021-04-17, Lumber River State Park Princess Ann Access. iNaturalist record # 74637232 entered by John Petranka - Male
Photo 3 by: Richard Stickney

Comment: Surry, 2019-05-27, Mitchell River at SR 1330 - Male on rocks in river, significant range extension, confirmed by several
Photo 4 by: Richard Stickney

Comment: Surry, 2019-05-27, Mitchell River at SR 1330 - Male on rocks in river, significant range extension, confirmed by several
Photo 5 by: R.Emmitt, H. LeGrand, J. Pippen

Comment: Richmond; C, 2019-04-28, Hoffman Road at Drowning Creek
Photo 6 by: R.Emmitt, H. LeGrand, J. Pippen

Comment: Richmond; C, 2019-04-28, Hoffman Road at Drowning Creek
Photo 7 by: Jeff Pippen, Randy Emmitt, Harry LeGrand

Comment: Moore; C, 2019-04-28, A handful flying around creek under bridge at county line (with Richmond County); one dead in water, some perched on rocks, gravel, and trees
Photo 8 by: Richard Stickney

Comment: Scotland, 2018-04-22, Lumber River State Park, Chalk Banks - Teneral, 1 each sex
Photo 9 by: Mark Shields and Hunter Phillips

Comment: Hoke, 2018-04-05, Wagram Boating Access Area, Lumber River - teneral
Photo 10 by: Mark Shields and Hunter Phillips

Comment: Scotland, 2018-04-05, Lumber River State Park (LURI) - Chalk Banks - recently emerged tenerals
Photo 11 by: Mark Shields and Hunter Phillips

Comment: Scotland, 2018-04-05, Lumber River State Park (LURI) - Chalk Banks - recently emerged tenerals
Photo 12 by: Mark Shields, John Petranka

Comment: Bladen, 2017-04-17, South River at Sloan's Bridge
Photo 13 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Bladen, 2017-04-16, South River at Sloan's Bridge
Photo 14 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Sampson, 2017-04-16, South River at Sloan's Bridge