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

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Related Species in AESHNIDAE: Number of records for 2024-00-00 = 0

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Phantom Darner (Triacanthagyna trifida) by Paul Hueber. 2009-10-11 Orange County, FL
Compare with: Swamp Darner   Regal Darner  
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Note: these identification tips apply specifically to mature males; features may differ in immature males and females.

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Click on county for list of all its records for Phantom Darner
Flight Charts
Distribution The southeastern corner of the state only; ranging north to Craven County and inland to Robeson County.
Abundance Apparently very rare or rare, if still present in the state; known from just four counties. However, as it is crepuscular, special effort must be made to see it. Thus, its true abundance would be difficult to determine. No records in several decades, but no reason to believe it is extirpated from NC.
Flight Perhaps the latest flying odonate in NC -- in terms of flight period, with the flight likely only in October and November; the only NC date available is 26 October. The flight in GA is early October to mid-December.
Habitat Small wooded pools, typically near rivers, in heavily forested areas.

See also Habitat Account for Coastal Plain Wet-Hydric Forests
Behavior The species flies only in fairly dark conditions, typically the last two hours of daylight, or on very dark, cloudy days.
Comments The species has a very thin abdomen and should be readily distinguished by shape if seen well, a rare circumstance in NC. Its very late flight season, plus crepuscular habits, means that a biologist is unlikely to see the species during casual field work, without a special effort directed just for it. Because there are no recent records, and it has been recorded from just four counties, the N.C. Natural Heritage Program has deemed it worthy of tracking (as of fall 2010) as a Significantly Rare species. The NC Rank was moved from S2? to S1? in November 2012, to highlight the lack of recent records. As there are still no recent records, it is recommended to be re-ranked now as SH (historical). In late 2020, the NC Natural Heritage Program did make this move -- it is now ranked as SH. This does not mean it is extirpated from the state, but no one in the state has seen it and no one knows how or where to find it. Hopefully, this secretive species is still out there somewhere!

State Rank SH
State Status SR
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
Other Name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2023-01-09 15:09:11

Photo Gallery for Phantom Darner   0 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox