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

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Related Species in GOMPHIDAE: Number of records added in 2021 = 1

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Appalachian Snaketail (Ophiogomphus incurvatus) by John Petranka
Compare with: Edmund's Snaketail   Maine Snaketail   Rusty Snaketail   Brook Snaketail  
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distribution Throughout the western and central Piedmont; and sparingly in the lower elevations of the mountains, though so far known only from Buncombe County in that province. Apparently absent from the northeastern Piedmont. Recorded east to Caswell, Guilford, Moore, and Richmond counties; in the latter two counties, the records have come from the Sandhills region within the Coastal Plain. For some odd reason, the species has a rather limited range from MD to AL, and even though the common name is "Appalachian", and the general range is the southern Appalachians and Piedmont, for some interesting reason (elevation?) there are few "true" mountain records for NC.
abundance Uncommon to locally fairly common. It is quite widespread for a clubtail in the state, as there are records for most counties in the western 2/3rds of the NC Piedmont. However, this is globally a scarce species, as NatureServe has a G3 (rare) global rank. Thus, NC might have the highest density of the species.
flight Early or mid-April to late June, both in the mountains/foothills and in the remainder of the Piedmont and western Sandhills. The records for Richmond County are from early April to mid-May, and thus in the southern Piedmont and Sandhills counties, the flight may start about 7-10 days earlier than in the northern Piedmont/foothills.
habitat Small to medium streams, often in the open, for breeding; usually the streams are clear with some riffles and some gravel.
behavior Males typically perch on twigs or low vegetation near a creek; they make short patrols over the water.
comments Though this is a globally scarce species, with Paulson (2011) calling it "rare" and Dunkle (2000) calling it "uncommon", it apparently is most numerous in its range in the western and central NC Piedmont. Snaketails (clubtails in the genus Ophiogomphus) are typically a bit more colorful than clubtails in other genera, especially with the bright lime-green or grass-green sides of the thorax. Because of its G3 global rank, though it is not a rare species in NC, the N.C. Natural Heritage Program has added the species to its Watch List in 2012. There have been quite a few recent records, and most significant are the handful from small Sandhills streams in the far western Coastal Plain (Moore and Richmond counties). In fact, this is our only snaketail (Ophiogomphus) that occurs in the Coastal Plain, even if just at the western edge. However, despite these recent records from the western Sandhills, there has been nary a single recent record for the large region from Richmond and Moore counties to the Piedmont foothills. Has the species clearly declined across most of the Piedmont, or is there simply not enough field work in the southern Piedmont?
state_status W
S_rank S3
fed_status
G_rank G3
date_spread [Overwinter:] [Date Spread:] [No Late Date:] [Split on Feb:] [Default:]
synonym
other_name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2021-02-04 18:59:21

Photo Gallery for Appalachian Snaketail   20 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Doug Allen

Comment: Polk; P, 2020-04-04, Caroland Farms, NC sector - first record for Polk County
Photo 2 by: Chuck Smith, John Petranka and party.

Comment: Burke; P, 2019-05-15, South Mountains State Park (SOMO). Along Clear Creek below the dam of Clear Creek Lake. - Male.
Photo 3 by: R Emmitt and super DSA crew!

Comment: Moore; C, 2018-05-11, Drowning Creek at Richmond County line. - Vouchered by Boris
Photo 4 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Richmond; C, 2018-05-06, Naked Creek @ Derby Rd. (SR 1003) - adult male
Photo 5 by: John Petranka

Comment: Wilkes; M, 2017-05-31, Stone Mountain State Park (STMO). East Prong of the Roaring River at the Bridle Loop Trail parking area. Along stream restoration site. - 1 male, 1 female.
Photo 6 by: John Petranka

Comment: Wilkes; M, 2017-05-31, Stone Mountain State Park (STMO). East Prong of the Roaring River at the Bridle Loop Trail parking area. Along stream restoration site. - 1 male, 1 female.
Photo 7 by: John Petranka

Comment: Caswell, 2017-05-08, Along NC 62 at Country Line Creek. About 1.2 miles south of Main Street in Yanceyville. - Female. Sunning and feeding in vegetation alongside the bridge.
Photo 8 by: John Petranka

Comment: Caswell, 2017-05-08, Along NC 62 at Country Line Creek. About 1.2 miles south of Main Street in Yanceyville. - Female. Sunning and feeding in vegetation alongside the bridge.
Photo 9 by: John Petranka, Jim Petranka

Comment: Buncombe, 2016-06-07, Sandy Mush Game Land, Bear Creek Road access. Sandy Mush Creek via main trail west from parking area. Female feeding in clearing near creek. Photo.
Photo 10 by: John Petranka, Jim Petranka

Comment: Buncombe, 2016-06-07, Sandy Mush Game Land, Bear Creek Road access. Sandy Mush Creek via main trail west from parking area. Female feeding in clearing near creek. Photo.
Photo 11 by: Timothy Deering

Comment: Buncombe, 2016-06-07, Dark Hollow Creek
Photo 12 by: Timothy Deering

Comment: Buncombe, 2016-05-23, Dark Hollow Creek
Photo 13 by: Rick Cheicante

Comment: Surry, 2016-04-24, - Pilot Mountain State Park - clearing along Pilot Knob Park Rd
Photo 14 by: Doug Johnston

Comment: Buncombe, 2011-06-24, Sandy Mush Game Land, Bear creek access
Photo 15 by: Doug Johnston, Gail Lankford

Comment: Buncombe, 2010-05-20, Sandy Mush Game Land
Photo 16 by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Wilkes; M, 2007-05-17, female
Photo 17 by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Wilkes; M, 2007-05-14, mated pair
Photo 18 by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Wilkes; M, 2007-05-14, male
Photo 19 by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Wilkes; M, 2007-05-17, female
Photo 20 by: Ted Wilcox

Comment: Wilkes County; M, 2007-05-17, female