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

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Related Species in GOMPHIDAE: Number of records added in 2021 = 13

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Two-striped Forceptail (Aphylla williamsoni) by Mark Shields
Compare with: Russet-tipped Clubtail   Southeastern Spinyleg  
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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 Two-striped Forceptail
flight charts
distribution Formerly (prior to 2005), mainly just the lower half of the Coastal Plain. However, in the past handful of years the range is expanding westward rapidly, west currently to Durham, Chatham, and Lincoln counties. Thus, now it is scattered over nearly all of the Coastal Plain and the southeastern Piedmont. In fact, in 2020, a remarkable five new counties were added to the range map, several in the Coastal Plain filling holes in the range there (Bladen and Currituck), but several in the Piedmont expanding the western edge of the range (Durham, Chatham, and Gaston). Beaton (2007) states that in GA it is "rare above [the Fall Line] but expanding into the middle Piedmont". It is certainly expanding its range inland (westward) in NC, as well; Cuyler never collected the species farther west than Pitt and Pender counties.
abundance Clearly increasing in recent years. Formerly scarce (rare to uncommon) and limited almost solely to the Tidewater counties. Now it occurs essentially throughout the Coastal Plain and southeastern Piedmont, where uncommon and a bit local, but formerly it was nearly absent in these areas. In fact, the species has been recorded now at many lakes and ponds in Wake County alone, and two of our highest three one-day counts have been in Union County.
flight In the Coastal Plain, present from mid-June to early September. The now many records from the Piedmont fall from late June to early September.
habitat Vicinity of ponds and lakes, as well as canals, especially muck- or peat-bottom ones. These waters can be somewhat disturbed and not "high-quality", and many or most are in full sun.
behavior May perch on the ground near a pond, or on vegetation around a pond. Most often seen at ponds and small lakes.
comments Because Cuyler never collected the species in NC farther inland than Hertford, Bertie, and Pitt counties, it is certain that these farther western records represent a recent inland expansion of the range. The range is still spotty, in that there are many Wake County records but very few from the Sandhills or the adjacent counties to the east (e.g., Robeson, Sampson, etc.). There is also a near lack of recent records for the northeastern counties (east of Gates, Bertie, and Craven), though a 2020 record came from coastal Currituck County. A number of records have been made from canoes and kayaks, on large ponds and lakes, less so along rivers.
state_status
S_rank S3S4
fed_status
G_rank G5
date_spread [Overwinter:] [Date Spread:] [No Late Date:] [Split on Feb:] [Default:]
synonym
other_name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2021-02-02 12:07:26

Photo Gallery for Two-striped Forceptail   40 photos are available.
Only the most recent 30 are shown.
Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: David Woods

Comment: Richmond; C, 2021-09-19, McKinney Lake. Boat launch parking area. - Female
Photo 2 by: Bob Oberfelder

Comment: Wake, 2021-08-03, - Seen Near the old Mill at Yates Mill Park
Photo 3 by: Dennis Hawkins

Comment: Gaston, 2020-09-09, McAdenville, near junction of Main St. and Hickory Grove Dr.. iNaturalist record #59209420 - Female.
Photo 4 by: Richard Stickney

Comment: Chatham, 2020-08-31, Cape Fear River landing at end of Buckhorn Road - 3 females and 1 male along paths and on bank
Photo 5 by: Jan Hansen

Comment: Chatham, 2020-08-13, Buckhorn Road power line cut near Buckhorn Creek
Photo 6 by: Alex Worm

Comment: Bladen, 2020-07-27, Jones Lake SP at the swimming beach. Originally posted on iNaturalist https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/54521098 - Male.
Photo 7 by: Una Davenhill

Comment: Currituck, 2020-07-26, Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge
Photo 8 by: C. Taunton

Comment: Wake, 2020-07-12, NC Museum of Art grounds
Photo 9 by: Matt Spangler

Comment: Chatham, 2020-07-05, Jordan Lake--Overcup Creek marsh
Photo 10 by: Matt Spangler

Comment: Chatham, 2020-07-05, Jordan Lake--interface between Bush Creek marsh and the lake
Photo 11 by: Matt Spangler

Comment: Durham, 2019-08-15, Discovery Lake (EPA/NIH campus in RTP). Continuing male on same patch of territory.
Photo 12 by: F. Williams, S. Williams

Comment: Bertie, 2019-08-04, Salmon Creek State Natural Area
Photo 13 by: Mike Kosiewski

Comment: Currituck, 2019-08-03, MacKay Island NWR. iNaturalist: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/30201918 - Male.
Photo 14 by: Parker Backstrom

Comment: Moore; C, 2019-06-15, Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve
Photo 15 by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt.

Comment: Pender, 2018-08-25, Along Northeast Cape Fear River at Holly Shelter Boating Access. - Female.
Photo 16 by: Robert Gilson

Comment: Mecklenburg, 2018-07-04, Chris Talkington
Photo 17 by: Robert Gilson

Comment: Mecklenburg, 2018-07-04, Chris Talkington
Photo 18 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Edgecombe, 2017-08-04, Tarboro, Etheridge Pond; 35.8699, -77.5279 - adult male
Photo 19 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Lenoir, 2017-08-01, Neuseway Nature Park, Kinston
Photo 20 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Lee, 2017-07-29, - Watson Lake in Broadway
Photo 21 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2017-07-14, New River, from confluence of Blue Creek to 6 km upstream, by kayak - most were perched in mats of Alligator-weed. First record for county.
Photo 22 by: George Andrews

Comment: Lincoln, 2017-07-12, Catawba River, 1.25 miles south of Cowan's Ford Dam, west bank - Female, plucked from river
Photo 23 by: George Andrews

Comment: Lincoln, 2017-07-12, Catawba River, 1.25 miles south of Cowan's Ford Dam, west bank - Female, plucked from river
Photo 24 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: New Hanover, 2016-09-04, - Male along the shores of Sutton Lake.
Photo 25 by: Alicia Jackson

Comment: Brunswick, 2016-07-19, Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point
Photo 26 by: Conrad Wernett, Alyssa Wernett

Comment: Wayne, 2016-07-17, - Male spotted at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park
Photo 27 by: Alicia Jackson

Comment: Brunswick, 2016-06-28, Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point
Photo 28 by: Alicia Jackson

Comment: Brunswick, 2016-06-28, Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point
Photo 29 by: Salman Abdulali

Comment: Pitt, 2015-06-30, River Park North
Photo 30 by: George Andrews

Comment: Union, 2014-07-16, Cane Creek Park lake - obelisking male