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 = 7

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Cyrano Darner (Nasiaeschna pentacantha) by John Petranka
Compare with: Swamp Darner   Regal 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]     [Global Biodiversity Information Facility]      iNaturalist
Click on county for list of all its records for Cyrano Darner
Flight Charts
Distribution Essentially the eastern two-thirds of the state only. Throughout the Coastal Plain, and the eastern 60% of the Piedmont, west to Rockingham, Forsyth, Iredell, and Gaston counties; range extended nearly to the base of the Blue Ridge Escarpment with a sight record from Wilkes County in 2019.
Abundance Uncommon to fairly common (but never in swarms) in the Coastal Plain, generally uncommon in the eastern Piedmont, but rare in the central/western Piedmont. Can be fairly numerous in the lower Coastal Plain, where there was a one-day count of 14 individuals in 2019, made from a kayak along the Camden-Currituck county line.
Flight Mainly in late spring and summer. In the Coastal Plain, the flight occurs from mid-April to mid-September, rarely to late September. The Piedmont flight occurs from late April to mid-August. The peak tends to occur in the latter half of June, and into July.
Habitat Mostly standing water in forested areas, such as swampy pools or openings in swamps; forested ponds; canals. They favor blackwater, as opposed to brownwater, bodies of water.

See also Habitat Account for General Wet-Hydric Forests
Behavior Males have a distinctive flight behavior. They fly monotonous routes back and forth, often about 3-4 feet off the water, over canals and pools/ponds. Adults are only infrequently seen away from such pools and ponds; normally, one must look for the species over water.
Comments It can be frustrating to find one perched. However, the species can be identified in flight, through binoculars, and the "nose" can be seen under such circumstances. As the species is quite territorial, normally an observer will only see a single Cyrano Darner at a given body of water, and thus it is difficult to see more than a few of them in a given day.
State Rank S4S5
State Status
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
Other Name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2023-01-09 15:06:11

Photo Gallery for Cyrano Darner   34 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, 2024-05-22, Jordan Lake Educational State Forest - classic patrol
Photo 2 by: Amy Padgett

Comment: Bladen, 2024-04-14, Ephemeral pond in cutover, 2 miles SE of Clarkton, NC - 12:09PM Patrolling a shallow pond
Photo 3 by: Kevin Metcalf

Comment: Mecklenburg, 2022-07-07, Rural Hill Nature Preserve, along McDowell Creek, Huntersville
Photo 4 by: Max Ramey

Comment: Dare; Mainland, 2022-05-27, Buffalo City Road - Alligator NWR
Photo 5 by: John Petranka

Comment: Alamance, 2020-07-29, Cedarock Park along Rock Creek. - Male.
Photo 6 by: Scott Bolick

Comment: Guilford, 2020-06-02, Deep River Trail north of East Fork Rd. near power line cut. iNaturalist Record 48282176 - Male.
Photo 7 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Camden, 2019-06-24, Indiantown Creek, from S. Indiantown Rd. bridge to confluence with North River and back, by kayak. - males patrolling along edge of creek
Photo 8 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Currituck, 2019-06-24, Indiantown Creek, from S. Indiantown Rd. bridge to confluence with North River and back, by kayak. - males patrolling along edge of creek
Photo 9 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Sampson, 2019-05-24, Black River, from Ivanhoe Boating Access Area to 4.5 km upstream and back, by kayak.
Photo 10 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Craven, 2018-09-02, West Prong Brice Creek - dead, floating in the creek
Photo 11 by: John Petranka and party.

Comment: Davidson, 2018-07-14, Lexington. Pond at Finch Park and along Abbotts Creek where noted. - Males. One of them at Abbotts Creek.
Photo 12 by: Robert Gilson

Comment: Mecklenburg, 2018-07-12, Reedy Creek Nature Preserve - Albert Stevens collected
Photo 13 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Forsyth, 2018-07-08, Winston Lake
Photo 14 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Dare; OBU, 2018-06-29, Nags Head Woods Preserve - males patrolling over small, swampy ponds
Photo 15 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Craven, 2018-06-16, Swift Creek; 7 km section between Cool Springs Boating Access Area and NC 43 bridge, by kayak
Photo 16 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Chowan, 2018-06-09, Edenton National Fish Hatchery - seen from boardwalk along Pembroke Creek. First record for county.
Photo 17 by: Mark Shields

Comment: New Hanover, 2018-06-01, Airlie Gardens, Wilmington
Photo 18 by: Mark Shields and Hunter Phillips

Comment: Tyrrell, 2017-08-04, Scuppernong River Interpretive Boardwalk, Columbia
Photo 19 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Washington, 2017-06-16, Conaby Creek, from boating access area to 2.25 km upstream by kayak
Photo 20 by: Conrad Wernett, Alyssa Wernett

Comment: Columbus, 2017-06-04, - Males patrolling below spillway from Lake Waccamaw.
Photo 21 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 22 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Robeson, 2017-05-17, Lumber River; Lumber River State Park - Princess Ann Access to Fair Bluff Boating Access Area by kayak
Photo 23 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Columbus, 2017-04-12, Waccamaw River from Pireway Boating Access Area to 6 km upstream
Photo 24 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2016-07-23, Southwest Creek, from boat ramp off Verona Loop Rd. upstream to Highway 17 bridge
Photo 25 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Jones, 2016-06-04, White Oak River between Quarry lakes and Dixon Field Landing
Photo 26 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Brunswick, 2015-09-05, Waccamaw River - male patrolling in cove 0.25 km upstream of NC 904 bridge
Photo 27 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Sampson, 2015-08-23, Black River by kayak from Ivanhoe Boating Access to 0.5 km upstream of Dr Kerr Rd bridge
Photo 28 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Bladen, 2015-08-09, Black River by kayak, between NC 53/11 bridge and Hunts Bluff Wildlife ramp
Photo 29 by: John Petranka

Comment: Chatham, 2015-05-29, Rocky River at Triangle Land Conservancy preserve
Photo 30 by: John Petranka

Comment: Durham, 2014-07-20, Sandy Creek Park, and Greenway north to Pickett Rd.. - Male. Short, repetitive patrol flights over Sandy Creek near south end of greenway. Clear flight photos.