The Dragonflies and Damselflies of North Carolina
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North Carolina's 188 Odonate species

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Related Species in CORDULEGASTRIDAE: Number of records added in 2021 = 2

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Tiger Spiketail (Cordulegaster erronea) by Richard Stickney
Compare with: Twin-spotted Spiketail   Arrowhead Spiketail   Brown Spiketail  
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 to both sexes. Female depicted here.

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Click on county for list of all its records for Tiger Spiketail
flight charts
distribution Present throughout the mountains and foothills, and the northern third of the Piedmont. Presence in the southeastern half of the Piedmont is uncertain, though there are no records between Rutherford/Catawba and Wake counties.
abundance Uncommon in the Piedmont foothills, but rare to uncommon in the true mountains and eastward in the Piedmont to the north-central Piedmont. Very rare now in the northeastern Piedmont. Dunkle (2000) calls it "local" throughout its range, Paulson (2011) calls it "rather rare" over its range, and Beaton (2007) says "Uncommon to rare and local" in GA. The species seems to be slightly increasing in recent decades.
flight The flights in the mountains and Piedmont are roughly similar -- late May into early September. However, it is most frequent in July and in the first half of August.
habitat Small streams or seeps, without fish; in partial shade. Streams may be rocky, but may have a sandy substrate.

See also Habitat Account for General Mesic Forests with Seepages/Headwater Streams
behavior Males cruise in the vicinity of the seeps, though they can be difficult to find when perched. The males are more active late in the day, and may fly and perch well away from seeps, often on a twig or stem just one to several feet off the ground, for easy viewing.
comments For whatever reason, Duncan Cuyler had relatively few numbers of collected specimens and county records, as compared with the gratifyingly large number of recent records, especially those documented with photos. Photos have now been taken in 15 counties, both in the mountains/foothills and in the far northern Piedmont. These data seem to indicate that the Tiger Spiketail is increasing in numbers in recent decades, though it might simply be that the species is not a difficult one to photograph. Because of this increase in recent records, the N.C. Natural Heritage Program removed it from the Watch List in fall 2014.
state_status
S_rank S3S4
fed_status
G_rank G4
date_spread [Overwinter:] [Date Spread:] [No Late Date:] [Split on Feb:] [Default:]
synonym
other_name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2021-02-05 14:32:21

Photo Gallery for Tiger Spiketail   25 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Richard Stickney

Comment: Alleghany, 2020-08-09, Stone Mountain State Park, seeps near campground - 1 perching female and 1 patrolling male
Photo 2 by: p dixon

Comment: Madison, 2020-07-07, Bluff Mountain, Betty's Place Trail
Photo 3 by: Jennifer Sikes

Comment: Wake, 2020-06-18, At a private residence with a seep on the property. Stoneridge Drive, Raleigh. iNaturalist record# 50111511 Submitted by John Petranka. - Male.
Photo 4 by: Rick Biel

Comment: Yancey, 2020-05-27, Near Cane River. From iNaturalist record https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/47521736#activity_identification_106416326 - Teneral male with exuvia.
Photo 5 by: P Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2019-09-01, Polecat Road
Photo 6 by: B. Bockhahn

Comment: Transylvania, 2019-05-28, Gorges State Park
Photo 7 by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt

Comment: Alleghany, 2017-08-04, Stone Mountain State Park. Seep and boggy area near campground Loop B. - 2 males, 1 ovipositing female. Photo is of female.
Photo 8 by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin

Comment: Yancey, 2017-07-14, Three individuals were observed in a small woodland stream and seepage complex near Spivey Gap.
Photo 9 by: Timothy Deering

Comment: Buncombe, 2016-05-24, Alexander. Flew into neighbor
Photo 10 by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt

Comment: Alleghany, 2015-07-14, Stone Mountain State Park (STMO). Seep and boggy area near campground Loop B. - Male. Long patrols of the seep, passing over a given area every few minutes. Low-light flight photo taken.
Photo 11 by: M. Griffin

Comment: Stokes, 2015-06-06, Hanging Rock State Park - Female found on Riverbluffs Trail.
Photo 12 by: Owen McConnell

Comment: Graham, 2014-09-02, at a tiny branch of Squally Creek
Photo 13 by: Lori Owenby

Comment: Catawba, 2014-08-03, Riverbend Park, northeast of Hickory. Trail along the Catawba River. - Male.
Photo 14 by: Bob Cherry

Comment: Jackson, 2012-07-16, Blue Ridge Parkway
Photo 15 by: Jeff Beane

Comment: Rutherford; P, 2012-06-09, Union Mills - Box Creek SNHA (Significant Natural Heritage Area) - female - ID by JEC
Photo 16 by: Jeff Beane

Comment: Rutherford; P, 2012-06-09, Union Mills - Box Creek SNHA (Significant Natural Heritage Area) - female - ID by JEC
Photo 17 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Buncombe, 2011-08-16, Richmond Hill Park, North Asheville
Photo 18 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Buncombe, 2011-08-16, Richmond Hill Park, North Asheville
Photo 19 by: Beth Brinson

Comment: Rockingham, 2011-08-07, Mayo River State Park
Photo 20 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Buncombe, 2011-07-30, Richmond Hill Park, near small stream
Photo 21 by: Curtis Smalling

Comment: Watauga, 2011-07-22, finally had to catch it to get a pic. Habitat matches description perfectly
Photo 22 by: Curtis Smalling

Comment: Watauga, 2011-07-22, finally had to catch it to get a pic. Habitat matches description perfectly
Photo 23 by: Beth Brinson

Comment: Surry, 2009-08-08, Pilot Mountain State Park
Photo 24 by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Wilkes; P, 2007-08-07, male
Photo 25 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Buncombe, 2011-07-30, Richmond Hill Park