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 = 17
Added in 2024 from a previous years = 2

PDF has more details,
e.g., flight data, high counts, and earliest/latest dates can be seen.
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Common Baskettail (Epitheca cynosura) by Mark Shields
Compare with: Slender Baskettail   Mantled Baskettail   Robust Baskettail  
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 Common Baskettail
Flight Charts
Distribution Statewide; occurs in every NC county, including those along the immediate coast.
Abundance Common to occasionally abundant across the state. Often the most numerous species seen on an outing in the spring season. Dozens can sometimes be seen in a day.
Flight Spring/early summer season only; mid-March to late June or early July downstate, and to early August in the mountains (where the flight begins in late March). It is infrequent downstate after the end of May.
Habitat Mainly at still or slow-moving water of ponds, lakes, and pools; less so at slow creeks and rivers.

See also Habitat Account for General Pond Shorelines
Behavior Males are often seen flying low over pools and ponds, and at times over smaller creeks, perching quite frequently along the margins. Away from water, adults range widely to woodland margins, sunny roads and trails, and so forth, where they perch unwarily on twigs or other low vegetation and thus can be studied closely.
Comments Identification of most baskettails (except Prince) can be tricky, as some Mantleds, most Slender, and especially Robust baskettails closely resemble the Common Baskettail. In fact, there is probably no single field mark that might identify a dragonfly as a Common; a suite of marks, such as abdomen shape, abdomen width, and wing coloration must be used. Nonetheless, observers will quickly tire of seeing this species in spring, in hopes of finding less numerous baskettails, darners, and skimmers.
State Rank S5
State Status
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
Other Name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2023-01-11 12:50:57

Photo Gallery for Common Baskettail   46 photos are available.
Only the most recent 30 are shown.
Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: John Petranka

Comment: Orange, 2022-04-15, NHCBS, Hollow Rock Nature Park, West of Pickett Road, New Hope Creek
Photo 2 by: John Petranka

Comment: Orange, 2022-04-02, NHCBS, Hollow Rock Nature Park, West of Pickett Road, Meadow
Photo 3 by: Lynn Swafford

Comment: Transylvania, 2021-06-12, Dupont State Forest near Hooker Falls
Photo 4 by: John Petranka, Jim Petranka, Becky Elkin

Comment: Yancey, 2021-05-24, Along Cane River south of Burnsville.
Photo 5 by: Max Ramey

Comment: Watauga, 2021-05-09, My house (Valle Cay)
Photo 6 by: Dick Thomas

Comment: Guilford, 2021-04-15, Piedmont Environmental Center, High Point - flying in back of visitors center
Photo 7 by: p dixon

Comment: Madison, 2020-04-14, Hot Springs area
Photo 8 by: p dixon

Comment: Madison, 2020-04-09, Hot Springs area, sunny, 70s, late afternoon
Photo 9 by: Jan Hansen

Comment: Orange, 2020-04-02, Brumley Forest North-Silo Pond
Photo 10 by: Mark Swanson

Comment: Avery, 2019-06-01, - Male photographed near Land Harbors Lake.
Photo 11 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Mitchell, 2019-05-16, Living Waters Campground, Glen Ayre. - males patrolling edge of large pond. First record for county.
Photo 12 by: Mark Shields, John Petranka, Hunter Phillips, and party

Comment: Jackson, 2019-05-14, Panthertown Valley, Nantahala National Forest
Photo 13 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Bladen, 2019-04-16, South River at Sloan's Bridge Boating Access Area
Photo 14 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Wayne, 2019-04-15, Cliffs of the Neuse State Park (CLNE)
Photo 15 by: Mark Shields and Hunter Phillips

Comment: Rockingham, 2018-05-13, Mayo River State Park (MARI) - Mayo Mountain Access - around ponds near park office
Photo 16 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Chatham, 2018-05-05, White Pines Nature Preserve - males patrolling along edge of Rocky River
Photo 17 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Lenoir, 2018-05-01, Neuseway Nature Park, Kinston
Photo 18 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Montgomery, 2018-04-29, Uwharrie River @ Low Water Bridge - adult female with eggs
Photo 19 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Dare; Mainland, 2018-04-28, Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge - canal at end of Buffalo City Road
Photo 20 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Tyrrell, 2018-04-28, Scuppernong River Interpretive Boardwalk, Columbia
Photo 21 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Northampton, 2018-04-14, Northampton Nature Trail, Jackson
Photo 22 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips, and Cathy Songer

Comment: Robeson, 2018-04-06, Lumber River State Park (LURI) Princess Ann Access
Photo 23 by: Mark Shields and Hunter Phillips

Comment: Hoke, 2018-04-05, Wagram Boating Access Area, Lumber River - female
Photo 24 by: Mark Shields and Hunter Phillips

Comment: Scotland, 2018-04-05, Lumber River State Park (LURI) Chalk Banks
Photo 25 by: Mark Shields and Hunter Phillips

Comment: Moore; C, 2018-04-05, Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve (WEWO)
Photo 26 by: Mark Shields and Hunter Phillips

Comment: Brunswick, 2018-04-02, Boiling Spring Lakes Preserve Nature Trail
Photo 27 by: Mark Shields and Hunter Phillips

Comment: Columbus, 2018-04-02, Lake Waccamaw State Park (LAWA)
Photo 28 by: Will Stuart

Comment: Anson, 2018-04-01, Along GTR Road, Pee Dee NWR - Nicely marked
Photo 29 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Alleghany, 2017-06-28, Little Glade Mill Pond, Blue Ridge Parkway
Photo 30 by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin

Comment: Burke; M, 2017-05-16, Heavily vegetated pond near Jonas Ridge.