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 for 2024-00-00 = 1
Added in 2024-00-00 from a previous year = 1

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Mocha Emerald (Somatochlora linearis) by John Petranka, Sally Gewalt
Compare with: Treetop Emerald   Clamp-tipped Emerald   Fine-lined Emerald   American Emerald  
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 females.

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Click on county for list of all its records for Mocha Emerald
Flight Charts
Distribution Throughout the Coastal Plain (even near the coast), and the eastern and central Piedmont. Ranges west to Yadkin and Gaston counties, for certain, and with a sight report west to Burke County. Not known yet from the mountains, despite range maps in reference books that shade in the entire eastern US.
Abundance Uncommon to locally fairly common over much of the Coastal Plain and eastern third of the Piedmont, but uncommon in the central Piedmont. Perhaps uncommon also in the southeastern part of the Coastal Plain. This is generally the most numerous emerald in the Piedmont and is the most numerous emerald in the Coastal Plain during the summer.
Flight Summer and early fall seasons, from early June (and very late May in the Coastal Plain) into late September, and sparingly to mid-October. Not numerous after August.
Habitat Small forested streams; Dunkle (2000) says streams about 1-3 yards wide are preferred.
Behavior The species is most easily seen near small streams that are drying up. Away from streams, this emerald is often seen flying along wooded roads and wide trails, often at head height, back and forth, pausing to hover close to an observer. They spend most of the day perched in shady places, often hidden from an observer.
Comments Emeralds are usually seen in flight along and over forested roads, often at treetop height, and sometimes perching on telephone wires. They seem curious and may hover close to an observer, when the adult's bright green eyes and black thorax and abdomen are noticed. However, identification can be tricky in flight, and normally identification must be made of perched or netted individuals.
State Rank S5
State Status
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
Other Name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2023-01-16 11:47:16

Photo Gallery for Mocha Emerald   19 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Lucas Wilson

Comment: Richmond, 2024-06-25, - Andrews Pond along Pee Dee River
Photo 2 by: John Petranka

Comment: Orange, 2022-06-04, NHCBS, Hollow Rock Nature Park, West of Pickett Road, New Hope Creek - Male
Photo 3 by: L. Arent

Comment: Durham, 2021-08-05, Horton Grove Nature Preserve
Photo 4 by: John Petranka

Comment: Alamance, 2020-07-29, Cedarock Park along Rock Creek. - Male.
Photo 5 by: John Petranka

Comment: Orange, 2020-06-28, Falls of New Hope neighborhood community garden. - Teneral Male. Photo unposed.
Photo 6 by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt

Comment: Orange, 2019-07-26, Blackwood Farm Park. Small sandy tributary feeding the pond. - Males. Perched 2-3 feet above the ground alongside small stream.
Photo 7 by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt

Comment: Orange, 2019-07-26, Blackwood Farm Park. Small sandy tributary feeding the pond. - Males. Perched 2-3 feet above the ground alongside small stream.
Photo 8 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Randolph, 2018-06-25, Haskett Creek @ North Asheboro Park
Photo 9 by: Robert Gilson

Comment: Mecklenburg, 2018-06-25
Photo 10 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Brunswick, 2017-08-27, Ev-Henwood Nature Preserve, Winnabow - female
Photo 11 by: F. Williams, S. Williams

Comment: Gates, 2017-07-31, Merchants Millpond State Park
Photo 12 by: Conrad Wernett, Alyssa Wernett

Comment: Columbus, 2017-05-28, - Lake Waccamaw. One male spotted in underbrush along river below spillway.
Photo 13 by: Roger Shaw

Comment: Durham, 2016-08-20, Flat River Impoundment
Photo 14 by: John Petranka

Comment: Orange, 2016-07-21, Feeding swarm in sunny residential lawn near intersection of Cedronella Dr. and Charlock Ct., Falls of New Hope neighborhood ca. 5 PM. Flight photo of male.
Photo 15 by: Robby Deans

Comment: Beaufort, 2015-07-30, Blounts Creek
Photo 16 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Onslow, 2015-07-28, - Netted female patrolling neighbors yard.
Photo 17 by: George Andrews

Comment: Mecklenburg, 2013-07-08, Beatty Park from 05:30 - 07:30 PM. Skies 60/40 clear/cloud, temp. 85 degrees
Photo 18 by: Randy Emmitt

Comment: Caswell, 2003-06-15, Caswell Game Land
Photo 19 by: George Andrews

Comment: Union, 2013-07-23, Cane Creek Park - Cruising clearings in berry patch, behind prairie restoration site