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

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Related Species in CORDULIIDAE: Number of records added in 2021 = 0

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Alabama Shadowdragon (Neurocordulia alabamensis) by Mark Shields
Compare with: Smoky Shadowdragon   Umber Shadowdragon   Stygian Shadowdragon   Cinnamon Shadowdragon  
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Note: these identification tips apply to both sexes. Female depicted here.

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Click on county for list of all its records for Alabama Shadowdragon
flight charts
distribution Ranges across the southwestern 40-50% of the Coastal Plain, including the Sandhills region; seemingly absent from the Piedmont. As NC lies at the northeastern end of the range, the northern limits at present are Montgomery, Moore, Lee, Johnston, and Edgecombe counties. There have been one or two reports from the lower Piedmont, but there are seemingly no specimens or photographs to document its presence in that province as yet.
abundance Very difficult to assess for all five shadowdragons in NC because of their crepuscular habits. As it has been found in practically all potential counties in NC within its range, it must not be truly scarce, and the nearly 60 records (for a crepuscular species) with available dates attest to it not being rare. Dunkle (2000) calls the species "common but seldom seen" across its full range, which might apply as well to NC. Likely, it is uncommon to fairly common in the Sandhills region, and rare to uncommon elsewhere in the southern Coastal Plain, but especially scarce in the central Coastal Plain.
flight The flight is from mid-May to late August, though most do not appear until mid-June, and the peak is from late June to mid-July.
habitat Small creeks in forested regions, often where sandy and with low flow.
behavior Strictly crepuscular, with most flying taking place about 30 minutes before dusk. It spends the remainder of the day hanging on twigs in shade in forests, where very seldom seen. When it does fly, it can be seen over ponds as well as creeks.
comments To see shadowdragons, observers must visit creeks and other bodies of water in shaded places during the last hour of daylight, with a net handy to catch whatever may be seen flying over the water. In fact, Dunkle (2000) calls this species "One of the world's most elusive dragonflies" because of its very narrow flight time during the day, often for just 10-20 minutes near dusk. Though it is not rare in the state, it is poorly known by today's biologists/observers, and the N.C. Natural Heritage Program retains the species on its Watch List.
state_status W
S_rank S3?
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 2021-02-07 11:24:31

Photo Gallery for Alabama Shadowdragon   11 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger

Comment: Richmond; C, 2020-06-08, Lake Bagget
Photo 2 by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger

Comment: Richmond; C, 2020-06-08, Lake Bagget; female netted, probably 2 females and 1 male present. Photo by K. Kittelberger
Photo 3 by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger

Comment: Richmond; C, 2020-06-08, Lake Bagget; female netted, probably 2 females and 1 male present. Photo by K. Kittelberger
Photo 4 by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger

Comment: Richmond; C, 2020-06-08, Lake Bagget; female netted and photographed, probably 2 females and 1 male present. Photo by K. Kittelberger
Photo 5 by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger

Comment: Richmond; C, 2020-06-08, Lake Bagget; female netted and photographed, probably 2 females and 1 male present. Photo by K. Kittelberger
Photo 6 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Pender, 2019-05-29, Ashes Creek at Shaw Highway bridge - Female netted, photographed, and released
Photo 7 by: Rick Cheicante

Comment: Richmond; C, 2018-06-09, Sandhills Game Land: Bagget Lake and surrounding area.
Photo 8 by: Rick Cheicante

Comment: Richmond; C, 2018-06-09, Sandhills Game Land: Bagget Lake and surrounding area.
Photo 9 by: Conrad Wernett, Alyssa Wernett

Comment: Scotland, 2015-06-14, - Two tenerals found in drainage from Scotland Lake
Photo 10 by: Scott Hartley

Comment: Moore; C, 2009-07-01, Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve - antenodal wing spots extend all the way to nodus and the edges of the spots are not bold as in Smoky Shadowdragon.
Photo 11 by: Scott Hartley

Comment: Moore; C, 2007-07-01, Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve - Found at Paint Hill.