The Dragonflies and Damselflies of North Carolina
Home Page Search Odonate Resources
LoginNC Biodiversity Project

North Carolina's 188 Odonate species

«      »

Sort Species by: Family   Scientific Name       [ Undocumented ]
Related Species in AESHNIDAE: Number of records added in 2021 = 17

PDF has more details,
e.g., flight data, high counts, and earliest/latest dates can be seen.
[View PDF]
Comet Darner (Anax longipes) by Mark Shields
Compare with: Common Green Darner  
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 specifically to mature males; features may differ in immature males and in females.

[Google images]
Click on county for list of all its records for Comet Darner
flight charts
distribution Statewide, though more widespread in the southern half of the Coastal Plain and southeastern part of the Piedmont. Of spotty occurrence in most of the Piedmont and mountains, and the northern half of the Coastal Plain, though perhaps occurs in all counties. In recent years, there have been many more records for the mountains, and thus relatively few counties in this province lack records now.
abundance Widespread but mostly uncommon (though not hard to see just one) across the southern half of the Coastal Plain and most of the Piedmont and mountains. Rare to uncommon in the northern Coastal Plain, where very few recent records -- scarcity of observers there? Even though it is not a rare species, we are aware of only a single daily count of more than six individuals; one observer counted 11 of them in 2020. In general, most numerous in the southern Coastal Plain, including the Sandhills.
flight In the Coastal Plain, generally from mid- or late April to late November. Flies at least from mid-May to mid-August in the Piedmont and in the mountains, sparingly to late September and early October.
habitat Mainly small to medium ponds, including natural ones such as limesink ponds and Carolina bays.

See also Habitat Account for General Beaver Ponds and Semi-natural Impoundments
behavior Most often seen patrolling back and forth over a pond, typically about 3-6 feet above the water. At times seen over dry land, but best looked for over a pond/small lake.
comments Males, with their bright red abdomen contrasting with the green head and thorax, are among our most beautiful and easily identified dragonflies. Its large size also adds to its striking appearance. Females and immatures can easily be confused with Common Green Darner, and probably cannot be safely identified while in flight. In fact, a green-bodied dragonfly with a rusty-brown abdomen seen flying over a field is more likely a female/immature Common Green Darner than a Comet Darner.
S_rank S4
G_rank G5
date_spread [Overwinter:] [Date Spread:] [No Late Date:] [Split on Feb:] [Default:]
Species account update: LeGrand on 2021-07-28 11:14:22

Photo Gallery for Comet Darner   19 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2019-07-27, my property, Holly Ridge - Attracted to LED and UV lights, 11:41 pm
Photo 2 by: Conrad Wernett, Alyssa Wernett

Comment: Onslow, 2018-08-18, Retention pond behind Circle-K, US Hwy 17N, Jacksonville - Three males patrolling pond, one netted for photo
Photo 3 by: Robert Gilson

Comment: Mecklenburg, 2018-07-12, Reedy Creek Nature Preserve - Albert Stevens collected
Photo 4 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Transylvania, 2018-06-27, Gorges State Park (GORG) - male patrolling over Raymond Fisher Pond
Photo 5 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Jackson, 2018-06-25, Pond beside Breedlove Road, 5 km northeast of Cashiers - First record for county.
Photo 6 by: Mark Shields

Comment: New Hanover, 2017-11-18, Carolina Beach State Park (CABE), limesink ponds
Photo 7 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Buncombe, 2017-07-18, Azalea Park, Asheville
Photo 8 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2017-05-29, Stones Creek Game Land
Photo 9 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Wayne, 2017-05-29, Cliffs of the Neuse State Park, along dike of swimming lake
Photo 10 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Scotland, 2017-05-07, Sandhill Game Land; Scotland Lake - adult males
Photo 11 by: Conrad Wernett, Alyssa Wernett

Comment: Wayne, 2016-07-17, - Males patrolling, females ovipositing around bodies of water at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park
Photo 12 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Carteret, 2016-06-17, indivduals not counted; ponds along Patsy Pond Nature Trail, Croatan National Forest
Photo 13 by: John Petranka, Jim Petranka

Comment: Madison, 2016-06-07, Shelton Laurel Creek, along NC Hwy. 208 just north of confluence with Big Laurel Creek. Males.
Photo 14 by: Mark Shields

Comment: New Hanover, 2015-11-28, Carolina Beach State Park
Photo 15 by: Curtis Smalling

Comment: Wilkes; M, 2015-06-16, Wildlife Resources Commission fishing put-in on Triplett Rd. - foraging over creek
Photo 16 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Onslow, 2014-06-29, - Patrolling males at retention pond
Photo 17 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Henderson, 2012-06-14, Fletcher Park, Fletcher (eating a Slaty Skimmer)
Photo 18 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Henderson, 2012-06-14, Fletcher Park, Fletcher
Photo 19 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Henderson, 2010-06-05, Imaged at Fletcher Park