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 = 0

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Pygmy Snaketail (Ophiogomphus howei) by Ted WIlcox
Compare with:   Distinctive
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 Pygmy Snaketail
flight charts
distribution This is a Northern/Appalachian species that ranges south to the mountains of NC. Within the state, it is known from only three mountain counties -- Alleghany, Ashe, and Burke.
abundance Undoubtedly very rare, with hardly any recent records (just two since 1994, from the same area). Dunkle (2000) also considers the species to be "scarce" throughout its range.
flight The only NC dates available to us are 10 May, 5 June, and 6 June, from Alleghany and Ashe counties. The date(s) for the Burke County record is not known. Thus, the flight is presumed to occur from early May to early to mid-June.
habitat Breeds at large, clear rivers, with sand or gravel bottoms.
behavior Males fly in a bouncy manner low over ripples in the rivers, where they are difficult to observe.
comments This is the smallest snaketail and one of the smallest of the clubtails, typically well under 1.5 inches in length. As with so many other clubtails, especially those restricted in NC to the mountains, it is practically unknown to most biologists. The New River in Ashe and Alleghany counties is the best spot to look for this and many other rare or poorly known dragonflies in our mountains. Not only is it very rare in NC (with a State Rank of S1), it is also globally rare (with a Global Rank of just G3).
state_status SR
S_rank S1
G_rank G3
date_spread [Overwinter:] [Date Spread:] [No Late Date:] [Split on Feb:] [Default:]
Species account update: LeGrand on 2021-07-28 15:19:21

Photo Gallery for Pygmy Snaketail   1 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Alleghany County, 2007-06-06, female