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 CORDULIIDAE: Number of records for 2024 = 21
Added in 2024 from a previous year = 1

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e.g., flight data, high counts, and earliest/latest dates can be seen.
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Prince Baskettail (Epitheca princeps) by Mark Shields
Compare with:   Distinctive
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 to both sexes. Male depicted here.

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Click on county for list of all its records for Prince Baskettail
Flight Charts
Distribution Statewide; presumably occurs in all 100 counties. A few coastal counties lack a record, and probably absent on the Outer Banks.
Abundance Fairly common to common essentially statewide. Rare toward the coast, and likely absent on the Outer Banks. Does not occur in swarms like a few other baskettails (Common and Mantled), though there are several counts of 50 individuals in a day near the coast.
Flight A long flight period compared with other baskettails, and the only baskettail species that extends through the summer into early autumn. In the Coastal Plain, the flight occurs from late April to late September; in the Piedmont, from early May to mid-October (though scarce after August); and in the mountains, from late May to mid-September.
Habitat Slow-moving waters of lakes and ponds, or still rivers. Usually in open, sunny places.
Behavior Males are often seen making long back-and-forth flights along canals, pond and lake shores, etc., in sunny areas well away from forests. The flight is often higher than for most other dragonflies, as an observer often sees them at or above head height. Unlike the other baskettails, this species only infrequently perches.
Comments It is surprising that this species is included with the other four NC baskettails in the same genus (Epitheca), as the Prince Baskettail looks and behaves more like a species of darner or skimmer than a typical baskettail. The wings are boldly blotched in black, and the adults glide and fly in a choppy manner, with wings often held above the horizontal, for long periods of time. As they only infrequently perch, one normally makes the identification (easily) in flight.
State Rank S5
State Status
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
Other Name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2023-01-11 12:54:00

Photo Gallery for Prince Baskettail   38 photos are available.
Only the most recent 30 are shown.
Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Kevin Metcalf

Comment: Mecklenburg, 2022-06-28, - Latta Nature Preserve, Huntersville
Photo 2 by: Max Ramey

Comment: Watauga, 2021-05-06, Lake Dexter (Valle Cay)
Photo 3 by: p dixon

Comment: Madison, 2020-07-11, Hot Springs area
Photo 4 by: P Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2019-06-08, River Road, Hot Springs
Photo 5 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 6 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Avery, 2018-07-29, Mill pond on the Elk River; Banner Elk
Photo 7 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Anson, 2018-07-06, Pee Dee River; 2 km stretch upstream from Diggs Tract Access, by kayak
Photo 8 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Richmond; C, 2018-07-06, Pee Dee River; 2 km stretch upstream from Diggs Tract Access, by kayak
Photo 9 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Jackson, 2018-06-25, Lake Glenville at Powerhouse Access Area - First record for county.
Photo 10 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 11 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Chowan, 2018-06-09, Edenton National Fish Hatchery
Photo 12 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Currituck, 2018-06-09, pond at Currituck Community Park near Maple. First record for county.
Photo 13 by: Mark Shields

Comment: New Hanover, 2018-06-01, Airlie Gardens, Wilmington
Photo 14 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Edgecombe, 2018-05-25, Etheridge Pond, Tar River Game Land
Photo 15 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Harnett; C, 2017-07-21, Cape Fear River, Erwin. From NC 217 bridge to 2 km upstream, by kayak.
Photo 16 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Washington, 2017-06-16, Conaby Creek, from boating access area to 2.25 km upstream by kayak
Photo 17 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Rutherford; P, 2017-06-02, Morse Park, Lake Lure
Photo 18 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Polk; P, 2017-06-02, Lake Adger at Marina and Public Boat Launch
Photo 19 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 20 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Onslow, 2017-05-27, - Cowhorn Creek Landing. One female perched near where we were and one male patrolling
Photo 21 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Bladen, 2017-05-26, South River at Sloan's Bridge Boating Access Area
Photo 22 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Columbus, 2016-07-22, Lake Waccamaw, southern end between dam and pier
Photo 23 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Martin, 2016-06-19, Roanoke River at Astoria Landing Public Fishing Access, Jamesville
Photo 24 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Jones, 2016-06-04, White Oak River between Quarry lakes and Dixon Field Landing
Photo 25 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Pender, 2015-08-09, Black River by kayak, between NC 53/11 bridge and Hunts Bluff Wildlife ramp
Photo 26 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Robeson, 2015-08-01, Lumber River State Park, Princess Ann Access
Photo 27 by: George Andrews

Comment: Union, 2014-06-29, Cane Creek Park lake
Photo 28 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Onslow, 2014-06-15, - Several specimens seen flying, on dead specimen found intact in the grill of my car.
Photo 29 by: Doug Johnston, Vin Stanton

Comment: Graham, 2013-07-16, Lake Santeetlah north of Robbinsville - Male
Photo 30 by: Vin Stanton, Doug Johnston, Gail Lankford, Janie Owen

Comment: Madison, 2012-06-15, North of Hot Springs on River Road-French Broad River - Male