The Dragonflies and Damselflies of North Carolina
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North Carolina's 189 Odonate species

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Sort Species by: Family   Scientific Name       [ Undocumented ]
Related Species in AESHNIDAE: Number of records for 2024-00-00 = 16

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Swamp Darner (Epiaeschna heros) by Mark Shields
Compare with: Regal Darner   Cyrano Darner   Phantom 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.

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Click on county for list of all its records for Swamp Darner
Flight Charts
Distribution Statewide, and certainly occurs in all 100 counties of NC, though no record yet for one of them.
Abundance Common to often very common in the Coastal Plain, and fairly common to common in the Piedmont; rare to uncommon in the mountains.
Flight The flight is from the end of March or early April into early November in the Coastal Plain. In the Piedmont the flight also begins around late March or early April, and likely ends around mid-October, but oddly we have no records after September! The mountain flight occurs from early or mid-April to mid-October.
Habitat Swamps, bottomlands, rivers, and large streams; not numerous around forested lakes or ponds.

See also Habitat Account for General Wet-Hydric Forests
Behavior Often seen cruising along forested roads and other clearings near woodlands and swamps, such as along roads through bottomlands and swamps. Flight is often head-height to treetop level. Frequently perches, usually at head-height or above, hanging downward from a twig.
Comments If a large dragonfly is seen flying over a road through a forested wetland, it is most likely this species. Several can often be seen in the same general area, though it normally doesn't form swarms. It can often be the most commonly seen species on a summer or early fall day, especially in the Coastal Plain, if you are walking along a forest road or wide trail through a swamp or bottomland.
State Rank S5
State Status
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
Other Name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2023-01-09 14:15:19

Photo Gallery for Swamp Darner   50 photos are available.
Only the most recent 30 are shown.
Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Amy Padgett

Comment: Bladen, 2024-04-20, Tory Hole Park Boat Ramp, Elizabethtown, NC - 2:55PM Flying along river band
Photo 2 by: Mark Shields, Brian Bockhahn, et al.

Comment: Gates, 2023-04-17, Merchants Millpond State Park
Photo 3 by: L. Arent

Comment: Harnett; P, 2023-04-15, Raven Rock State Park - Many patrolling River Rd.
Photo 4 by: P Dixon

Comment: Haywood, 2022-07-08, Davis Branch, Hot Springs area, ovipositing into mud through leaf litter in a dry season pond.
Photo 5 by: Charles H Williams, Laura Williams

Comment: Guilford, 2022-06-24, 3:27 PM at creek near wooded trail 36.128383, -79.834889
Photo 6 by: John Petranka

Comment: Orange, 2022-05-10, NHCBS, Hollow Rock Nature Park, West of Pickett Road, Meadow
Photo 7 by: Matt Spangler

Comment: Chatham, 2021-07-24, The Glades - F (attemping?) ovipositing on shady bricks and rocks
Photo 8 by: Dick Thomas

Comment: Guilford, 2021-05-25, High Point Lindale Farm - perched over small shallow retention pond
Photo 9 by: p dixon

Comment: Madison, 2020-05-03, French Broad River, Hot Springs area - Many flying along the railroad tracks beside the river
Photo 10 by: C. Blackwell

Comment: Yancey, 2020-04-11, Mount Mitchell State Park - specimen had already expired, but was still intact @ -82.265435, 35.765679
Photo 11 by: Audrey Kelly

Comment: Orange, 2020-04-10, Chapel Hill
Photo 12 by: Jan Hansen

Comment: Orange, 2020-03-28, Mason Farm Biological Preserve - Chapel Hill
Photo 13 by: Owen and Pat McConnell

Comment: Graham, 2019-08-10, Found dead by Robin Mason at her house at 4989 West Buffalo Rd. Her cat might have killed it. Robin brought it to me, and I photographed it. - Dead when photographed
Photo 14 by: Pete Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2019-05-19, 9:30am-5pm, sunny and hot, River Road, meadows around Murray Branch
Photo 15 by: Karsh Agbayani

Comment: Johnston, 2019-05-08, Found caught in a cobweb but still alive and later released
Photo 16 by: Karsh Agbayani

Comment: Johnston, 2019-05-08, Found caught in a cobweb but still alive and later released
Photo 17 by: Karsh Agbayani

Comment: Johnston, 2019-05-08, Found caught in a cobweb but still alive and later released
Photo 18 by: Aaron Edmonds

Comment: Harnett; C, 2019-05-06, Flat Branch- Many individuals spotted along with a Black Saddlebags
Photo 19 by: Doug Allen

Comment: Polk; P, 2019-04-16, FENCE - First record for county
Photo 20 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Wayne, 2019-04-15, Cliffs of the Neuse State Park (CLNE)
Photo 21 by: Owen McConnell and Simpson Eason

Comment: Durham, 2018-06-23, Beaver Marsh Preserve on Ellerbe Creek - female ovipositing in mud
Photo 22 by: M. Turner, J. Daigle, T. Schoch, S. Daniel, K. Larsen

Comment: Harnett; P, 2018-05-10, Cape Fear River Trail, Erwin
Photo 23 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2018-04-13, Stones Creek Game Land
Photo 24 by: John Petranka

Comment: Davidson, 2017-06-03, Boone's Cave Park. Near the picnic shelter. - Female.
Photo 25 by: John Petranka

Comment: Caswell, 2017-05-29, Caswell Game Lands. Along Country Line Creek at Caswell Impoundment off of High Rock School Road.
Photo 26 by: Conrad Wernett, Alyssa Wernett

Comment: Columbus, 2017-05-28, - Lake Waccamaw. Seen on main lake and all adjoining creeks/rivers.
Photo 27 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Duplin, 2017-05-27, Northeast Cape Fear River between Chinquapin Boat Access and Wayne's Landing Boat Access, by kayak
Photo 28 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Columbus, 2017-05-20, - Lake Waccamaw State Park. Small feeding swarm near first dock along lake trail.
Photo 29 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Bladen, 2017-05-20, - Several seen perched away from water, later several seen with Mike Turner at the lake itself.
Photo 30 by: Curtis Smalling

Comment: Watauga, 2017-04-28, Meat Camp Creek ESA - female ovipositing