The Dragonflies and Damselflies of North Carolina
Home Page Search Odonate Resources
LoginNC Biodiversity ProjectComments

North Carolina's 189 Odonate species

«      »

Sort Species by: Family   Scientific Name       [ Undocumented ]
Related Species in LIBELLULIDAE: Number of records for 2024-00-00 = 4

PDF has more details,
e.g., flight data, high counts, and earliest/latest dates can be seen.
[View PDF]
Ornate Pennant (Celithemis ornata) by John Petranka, Sally Gewalt
Compare with: Amanda's Pennant   Calico Pennant  
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.

[Google images]     [Global Biodiversity Information Facility]      iNaturalist
Click on county for list of all its records for Ornate Pennant
Flight Charts
Distribution Primarily limited to the Coastal Plain, barely ranging into the extreme southeastern Piedmont, with odd outliers in the mountains in northwestern Burke County and in Jackson County (with a 2019 photo). However, it is mainly found in the southern half of the Coastal Plain (including the Sandhills), being of spotty occurrence north of Harnett, Wayne, and Hyde counties. Apparently absent in the extreme northeastern Coastal Plain.
Abundance Fairly common to common in the Sandhills; fairly common (to perhaps common) farther east in the southern half of the Coastal Plain. Rare in the northern half of the Coastal Plain, and very rare in the Piedmont and the mountains. Apparently absent from most of the northwestern half of the state.
Flight A very long flight period, though less common after June. Occurs from early April to late October. Its flight is earlier in spring than most of the other Celithemis pennants. The two mountain records are both in mid-May, where the flight probably lasts for several months.
Habitat Ponds and smaller lakes, as with other pennants. These waters should contain marshy or emergent vegetation along the margins.

See also Habitat Account for General Pond Shorelines
Behavior Males are often seen around the margins of ponds, perching on twigs and making short patrols. Adults forage short distances from water, usually in sunny areas, such as fields, but not nearly as much as do Halloween Pennants.
Comments This species can be confused with Amanda's Pennant, and both may occur at the same ponds. However, Amanda's has a broader amber or reddish patch on the hind wing and typically forages much farther from water than does the Ornate Pennant; its flight averages later in the season. As with so many other pennants, the best strategy to see an Ornate Pennant is to walk around a margin of a pond, such as in the Sandhills or lower Coastal Plain. Beaton (2007) calls the species "Uncommon" in GA, but it is quite numerous in NC, mirroring Dunkle (2000), who says "common" across the range of the species -- TX to NJ.
State Rank S5
State Status
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
Other Name Faded Pennant
Species account update: LeGrand on 2023-01-16 14:19:12

Photo Gallery for Ornate Pennant   22 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Amy Padgett

Comment: Bladen, 2022-06-11, Bay Tree Natural Area, Harrells, NC - 1:17PM at small, shallow pond
Photo 2 by: Harry LeGrand, Lori Arent

Comment: Moore; C, 2021-08-09, Lakes & ponds near Southern Pines - Sandhills CC Horticultural Gardens
Photo 3 by: B. Bockhahn

Comment: Cumberland, 2021-04-21,
Photo 4 by: Jan Hansen

Comment: Pender, 2021-04-19, Holly Shelter Gameland
Photo 5 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Jackson, 2019-05-14, bog in Panthertown Valley, Nantahala National Forest - female. First record for county.
Photo 6 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2019-05-04, Stones Creek Game Land, Dry Lake area
Photo 7 by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt

Comment: Carteret, 2019-04-03, Croatan National Forest. Along Patsy Pond Green and Blue trails. - Female.
Photo 8 by: Owen McConnell

Comment: Brunswick, 2018-06-01, Green Swamp - female
Photo 9 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Carteret, 2017-05-21, - Patsy and Lily Ponds
Photo 10 by: Mike Turner, Conrad Wernett, Alyssa Wernett

Comment: Scotland, 2017-05-07, Sandhill Game Land; Scotland Lake - 15 adult males
Photo 11 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Carteret, 2017-04-30, - Everywhere we looked in the eastern Croatan National Forest, particularly around Patsy Pond
Photo 12 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Pender, 2016-09-05, Holly Shelter Game Land, ponds
Photo 13 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Carteret, 2016-05-15, ponds along Patsy Pond Nature Trail, Croatan National Forest
Photo 14 by: Rick Cheicante

Comment: Richmond; P, 2016-04-17, - Sandhills Game Land
Photo 15 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Brunswick, 2015-08-01, Green Swamp Preserve
Photo 16 by: Joe Lafferty

Comment: Brunswick, 2015-07-24, Green Swamp Preserve
Photo 17 by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt

Comment: Scotland, 2015-05-08, Scotland Lake. - Mostly males.
Photo 18 by: Conrad Wernett, Alyssa Wernett, Matt Anderson

Comment: Scotland, 2015-05-03, - Mature and copulating males/females around Scotland and Broadacres lakes.
Photo 19 by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Ed Corey

Comment: Bladen, 2013-06-04, seen at Baytree State Park
Photo 20 by: Doug Johnston

Comment: Brunswick, 2013-04-26, Green Swamp
Photo 21 by: Ali Iyoob, Matt Daw, Dan Irizarry

Comment: Scotland, 2011-05-05, Scotland Lake in the Sandhills Game Land
Photo 22 by: R. Emmitt, M. Millard

Comment: Scotland, 2008-04-19, brightly marked male; Sandhills Game Land