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 = 5

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Belle's Sanddragon (Progomphus bellei) by Ricky Davis
Compare with: Common Sanddragon  
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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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Click on county for list of all its records for Belle's Sanddragon
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distribution Only known in NC from large, natural Carolina bay lakes in Bladen County. Known from Baytree, Jones, Salters, Singletary, Little Singletary, and White lakes. This area is highly disjunct from the main part of the range in the FL panhandle.
abundance Not uncommon at several lakes during at least a portion of the flight period; however, absent to extremely rare away from such lakes.
flight The flight occurs from mid-May to late July, with the peak in early to mid-June. Dunkle (2000) gives a flight range from "Early May to mid-Aug.", though that likely applies to the FL population.
habitat In NC, only at large Carolina bay lakes, with a sandy bottom and shoreline.
behavior Males perch on sand along the lake shorelines, but they also perch on adjacent twigs and cypress knees along the shoreline and on piers. (Sanddragons [genus Progomphus] are named by the habit of males for perching on damp sand.) Males make patrolling flights about a foot above the surface of the lakes, coming back to the shore to perch from time to time. They are quite wary, difficult for a person to approach within 10 feet.
comments This is clearly one of the rarer dragonflies in the southeastern part of the country, with a global rank of G3. Of note is that the species is not known at all from intervening SC or GA. One must wonder if Belle's Sanddragon might occur at other similar large, sand-bottomed Carolina bay lakes in NC, such as Lake Waccamaw. Photos and specimens from NC have much smaller (or lack) yellow spots on the side of the abdominal club and probably warrant description as a new subspecies (though presumably not as a new species). Ed Corey found the species to be quite numerous on several dates in June 2008 at four of the State Lakes in Bladen County (photos and specimens for documentation). However, he and other State Park personnel were unable to find the species at Lake Waccamaw in Columbus County in 2008; repeated visits to this lake in recent years still have failed to find the species there.
state_status SR
S_rank S1
fed_status
G_rank G3
date_spread [Overwinter:] [Date Spread:] [No Late Date:] [Split on Feb:] [Default:]
synonym
other_name Variegated Clubtail
Species account update: LeGrand on 2021-02-05 10:45:58

Photo Gallery for Belle's Sanddragon   14 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Matt Spangler

Comment: Bladen, 2021-05-24, Jones Lake SP (circumnavigating lake by kayak) - on swim beach
Photo 2 by: Richard Stickney

Comment: Bladen, 2020-06-01, Jones Lake State Park - 3 males and 1 mating pair
Photo 3 by: Kevin Metcalf

Comment: Bladen, 2019-06-01, Bay Tree State Park - lake shore; Male; ID based primarily on long, pointed cerci relative to Common Sanddragon, and well-defined yellow rectangle on S-8.
Photo 4 by: John Petranka

Comment: Bladen, 2017-05-25, Jones Lake State Park (JONE). - Males. Sunning on fishing pier.
Photo 5 by: John Petranka

Comment: Bladen, 2017-05-25, Jones Lake State Park (JONE). - Males. Sunning on fishing pier.
Photo 6 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Bladen, 2017-05-20, Jones Lake State Park - 1 pair in wheel
Photo 7 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Bladen, 2016-06-10, 4 males obelisking at midday on fishing pier, Jones Lake State Park
Photo 8 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Bladen, 2016-06-10, 4 males obelisking at midday on fishing pier, Jones Lake State Park
Photo 9 by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Ed Corey

Comment: Bladen, 2013-06-04, seen at Jones Lake State Park - seen very well
Photo 10 by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Ed Corey

Comment: Bladen, 2013-06-04, seen at Salter's Lake access
Photo 11 by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Ed Corey

Comment: Bladen, 2013-06-04, seen at Salter's Lake access; mating pair in a wheel
Photo 12 by: Ricky Davis

Comment: Bladen, 2008-06-08, male - obelisking
Photo 13 by: E. Corey

Comment: Bladen, 2008-06-04, recently emerged individuals and mated pairs.
Photo 14 by: E. Corey

Comment: Bladen, 2008-06-04, recently emerged individuals and mated pairs.