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

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Related Species in AESHNIDAE: Number of records added in 2021 = 4

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Taper-tailed Darner (Gomphaeschna antilope) by John Petranka
Compare with: Harlequin Darner  
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Note: Except as noted for the cerci, all characters apply to both sexes.

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mapClick on county for list of all its records for Taper-tailed Darner
flight charts
distribution Essentially the eastern 50-60% of the state only; throughout the Coastal Plain, and in the southeastern third of the Piedmont, west to Caswell, Orange, Chatham, and Mecklenburg counties. A photo record from Burke County was most unusual and well to the west of the expected range. It should not be assumed to occur throughout the Piedmont based on this single "out-of-range" record.
abundance Uncommon in the southern and central Coastal Plain, but rare in the northern third of the province. Rare to locally uncommon in the eastern Piedmont west to Orange County. Essentially absent in the western two-thirds of the Piedmont (despite the single record).
flight Spring into early summer only. In the Coastal Plain, the flight is mainly from early April (very rarely in late March) to late June, sparingly into July. In the Piedmont, the flight occurs from early April to late June. The peak is from mid-April to early May.
habitat Typically in and near swamps, but also along nearby rivers and streams.

See also Habitat Account for General Wet-Hydric Floodplains
behavior Forages typically singly along wooded roads and openings near swamps and rivers, not over the water. As with the Harlequin Darner, it often perches vertically on tree trunks, where it can be photographed near human eye-level.
comments The species looks similar to Harlequin Darner, though has less green spots on the abdomen. Whereas the latter has a somewhat similar range and flight period to Taper-tailed, it is much more often encountered. There were few recent observations until about 2015, probably owing to better coverage of the Coastal Plain. Several new Piedmont records have been made in the Piedmont, such as in Union and Mecklenburg counties that extend the range westward. Could the species be slowly expanding its range inland, or is this simply a matter of more observers gathering odonate data in the Piedmont?
state_status
S_rank S4
fed_status
G_rank G4
date_spread [Overwinter:] [Date Spread:] [No Late Date:] [Split on Feb:] [Default:]
synonym
other_name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2021-07-28 11:38:36

Photo Gallery for Taper-tailed Darner   35 photos are available.
Only the most recent 30 are shown.
Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Matt Spangler

Comment: Chatham, 2021-05-22, The Glades
Photo 2 by: Erich Hofmann and Kayla Weinfurther

Comment: Craven, 2020-04-20, County Line Rd., ca. 0.5 km SSE of intersection with W Fisher Road. 34.983611, -76.98303. - Female. From iNaturalist.
Photo 3 by: Michael Parrish and Crystal Puga

Comment: New Hanover, 2020-04-02, Wilmington, near Hearthside Drive. - Female.
Photo 4 by: Aaron Edmonds

Comment: Harnett; C, 2019-05-31, - Flat Branch. Reviewer note: female shows characteristic J-shaped mark on side of S2.
Photo 5 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2019-05-19, my property, Holly Ridge - in feeding swarm with Swamp Darners and Carolina Saddlebags
Photo 6 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2019-05-19, my property, Holly Ridge - in feeding swarm with Swamp Darners and Carolina Saddlebags
Photo 7 by: Lenny Lampel

Comment: Mecklenburg, 2019-04-15, Reedy Creek Park and Nature Preserve. Near Environmental Center. - Female. From iNaturalist.
Photo 8 by: T. Howard

Comment: Wake, 2019-04-08, female
Photo 9 by: N. Williamson

Comment: Moore; C, 2018-06-03, Weymouth Woods preserve - Brought up to Visitor Center by visitor - was unable to fly.
Photo 10 by: Genesis Haskell-Ayala.

Comment: Cumberland, 2018-05-23, Private residence, Carfew Court, Fayetteville - Female. From iNaturalist.
Photo 11 by: Paul Hart

Comment: Harnett; C, 2017-05-29, Anderson Creek County Park - Male
Photo 12 by: Simon Kerr

Comment: Union, 2017-05-25, Pine Oak Road, Waxhaw. - Female
Photo 13 by: John Petranka, Richard Stickney

Comment: Orange, 2017-04-26, Eno River State Park (ENRI), Fews Ford Section near the main parking area. - Female; netted, photographed and released.
Photo 14 by: John Petranka, Richard Stickney

Comment: Orange, 2017-04-26, Eno River State Park (ENRI), Fews Ford Section at transmission line corridor. - Male; netted, photographed and released.
Photo 15 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Jones, 2017-04-11, Weetock Trail near Haywood Landing, Croatan National Forest - female
Photo 16 by: Kyle Kittelberger

Comment: Wake, 2017-04-10, Raleigh, near Falls Lake State Recreation Area - male, flew into me at 8:25 pm, presumably coming in to my "zapperless" bug zapper light
Photo 17 by: Kyle Kittelberger

Comment: Wake, 2017-04-10, Raleigh, near Falls Lake State Recreation Area - male, flew into me at 8:25 pm, presumably coming in to my "zapperless" bug zapper light
Photo 18 by: Kyle Kittelberger

Comment: Wake, 2017-04-10, Raleigh, near Falls Lake State Recreation Area - male, flew into me at 8:25 pm, presumably coming in to my "zapperless" bug zapper light
Photo 19 by: Kyle Kittelberger

Comment: Wake, 2017-04-10, Raleigh, near Falls Lake State Recreation Area - male, flew into me at 8:25 pm, presumably coming in to my "zapperless" bug zapper light
Photo 20 by: John Petranka

Comment: Bladen, 2016-04-26, Sugg's Millpond (aka Horseshoe Lake), area around dam. Suggs Mill Pond Game Land. Common over roads and around millpond. Photo.
Photo 21 by: R Emmitt

Comment: Orange, 2015-06-23, Saw at a customer's house while building a deck - male perched under a deck in Chapel Hill
Photo 22 by: Kristy Baker

Comment: Dare; Mainland, 2015-06-07, Alligator River NWR, Sandy Ridge Wildlife Trail - 3 Females & 2 Males - Including a mating pair.
Photo 23 by: Kristy Baker

Comment: Tyrrell, 2015-06-06, Palmetto-Peartree Preserve
Photo 24 by: Kristy Baker

Comment: Tyrrell, 2015-06-06, Palmetto-Peartree Preserve
Photo 25 by: Bobby J. Ward

Comment: Wake, 2015-05-31, photographed at his yard on Wimbleton Dr. in Raleigh
Photo 26 by: George Andrews

Comment: Burke; M, 2015-05-11, South Mountains State Park. - Along the Horseridge Trail
Photo 27 by: Jeff Beane

Comment: Moore; C, 2014-05-24, Moore Co., 5.4 airmi. WSW Pinebluff, SR 1004, ca. 0.2 rdmi. NNW Drowning Cr./Richmond Co. line. Injured on road. 24 May 2014. JCB - found injured on road
Photo 28 by: Alicia Jackson

Comment: Tyrrell, 2013-05-10, seen just after dawn, perched on a pine trunk.
Photo 29 by: Alicia Jackson

Comment: Tyrrell, 2013-05-10, Seen just after dawn, perched on a pine trunk.
Photo 30 by: Scott Hartley

Comment: Moore; C, 2010-04-13, male