The Dragonflies and Damselflies of North Carolina
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North Carolina's 188 Odonate species

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Related Species in CORDULIIDAE: Number of records added in 2021 = 2

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Uhler's Sundragon (Helocordulia uhleri) by John Petranka
Compare with: Selys's Sundragon  
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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 Uhler's Sundragon
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distribution Scattered over the mountains and Piedmont, with an apparently real gap (or certainly "scarcity") in the west-central portions of the Piedmont. Might well occur in all counties in the two provinces, as it ranges east to Halifax, Wake, Harnett, and Scotland counties. Probably occurs on very rare occasions in the Sandhills portion of the Coastal Plain. There are fewer observers in the western and central Piedmont than in the eastern Piedmont, but one cannot escape the fact that the species seems to have a bimodal range in the state.
abundance Declining in recent years, with shockingly no records in 2018, 2019, or 2020. Less numerous in NC than Selys's Sundragon in most counties where both occur (i.e., the eastern Piedmont). Rare to very uncommon in the eastern third of the Piedmont, but seemingly quite rare westward, with most records in the western part of the state lying close to the Blue Ridge escarpment. The gap of records in the west-central Piedmont is bizarre and suggests that the species must be very rare there, but as there are many records from the foothills and from the eastern Piedmont, it certainly ought to be present in all Piedmont counties.
flight Somewhat similar to Selys's Sundragon, though occurring later into early summer. In the Piedmont, from very late March or early April to late June, but scarce after early May. Dates in the mountains fall between mid-April and late June, and the single Coastal Plain record is for mid-April.
habitat Creeks and slower-flowing rivers, in shaded or semi-shaded forested areas. Apparently in slightly larger bodies of water than for Selys's, but habitat certainly overlaps.
behavior Males patrol territories over creeks and rivers, but fly longer and faster patrols than does Selys's. Adults are like most baskettails and Selys's Sundragon in foraging well away from water along trails and roads, usually perching low on twigs for easy observation and photographs.
comments Though this species has a wider, more Northern, range than does Selys's, it is the less common of the two in NC, though active observers in the eastern Piedmont might see one or two Uhler's each spring. The two sundragons are quite similar in appearance, with Uhler's having a small amber spot (lacking in Selys's) at the base of each wing; these spots can be difficult to see in the field, but good, close photographs show the mark well. As a result of very few recent records, the editors suggest a revised State Rank from S3S4 up to now S3 -- though not quite worthy of being added to the Watch List.
state_status
S_rank S3S4 [S3]
fed_status
G_rank G5
date_spread [Overwinter:] [Date Spread:] [No Late Date:] [Split on Feb:] [Default:]
synonym
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Species account update: LeGrand on 2021-02-07 11:11:31

Photo Gallery for Uhler's Sundragon   11 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: p dixon

Comment: Madison, 2021-04-12, Hot Springs area
Photo 2 by: Mark Swanson

Comment: Avery, 2017-04-26, - Female photographed near Linville River, Gill State Forest.
Photo 3 by: John Petranka

Comment: Orange, 2016-04-07, New Hope Creek in Duke Forest just upstream from Old Erwin Road. Male. Photo.
Photo 4 by: Owen McConnell

Comment: Graham, 2015-04-27, old logging road near FS 81 bridge over Big Santeetlah Creek
Photo 5 by: Owen McConnell

Comment: Graham, 2015-04-27, old logging road near FS 81 bridge over Big Santeetlah Creek
Photo 6 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Haywood, 2013-04-20, Cold Creek near I-40 - Male & Female
Photo 7 by: Vin Stanton, Doug Johnston, Gail Lankford, Janie Owen

Comment: Haywood, 2012-04-28, Found along Cold Creek, Pisgah National Forest - Male & Female
Photo 8 by: Vin Stanton, Doug Johnston, Gail Lankford, Janie Owen

Comment: Haywood, 2012-04-28, Found along Cold Creek, Pisgah Forest - Male & Female
Photo 9 by: Dorothy E. Pugh

Comment: Orange, 2011-04-06. Seen at Johnston Mill Nature Preserve
Photo 10 by: Ricky Davis

Comment: Halifax, 2010-04-11, - Medoc Mountain State Park
Photo 11 by: Ricky Davis

Comment: Halifax, 2010-04-11, Medoc Mountain State Park