Neurocordulia molesta - (Walsh, 1863)
Smoky Shadowdragon
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Neurocordulia molesta (Walsh, 1863) (TSN 101936)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.108988
Element Code: IIODO31030
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Insects - Dragonflies and Damselflies
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mandibulata Insecta Odonata Corduliidae Neurocordulia
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Paulson, D.R. and S.W. Dunkle. 1999. A Checklist of North American Odonata. Slater Museum of Natural History, University of Puget Sound Occasional Paper, 56: 86 pp. Available: http://www.ups.edu/x7015.xml.
Concept Reference Code: A99PAU01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Neurocordulia molesta
Taxonomic Comments: Populations in the Florida Panhandle may be a different taxon, maybe N. "CLARA," for which the type (female) specimen is apparently lost.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 04Nov2004
Global Status Last Changed: 12Jan1999
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: Larval surveys indicate the species is widespread and often common, but few of the elusive adults are ever captured. It has an apparent susceptibility to water quality degradation and thus is impacted by the general misuse of many rivers.
Nation: United States
National Status: N4 (04Nov2004)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alabama (S3?), Arkansas (SNR), Florida (S1), Georgia (SNR), Illinois (S1S2), Indiana (S1), Iowa (S2), Kansas (S2S3), Kentucky (S2S3), Louisiana (SNR), Minnesota (SNR), Mississippi (SNR), Missouri (SNR), Nebraska (SNR), North Carolina (S3?), Ohio (S2), Oklahoma (S4?), South Carolina (SNR), South Dakota (SNR), Tennessee (S4?), Texas (SNR), West Virginia (S2), Wisconsin (S3)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: South Dakota to Wisconsin, Ohio, and North Carolina, south to Texas and the Florida Panhandle.

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: Known from at least 82 rivers and streams, including large ones such as the upper Mississippi River and Ohio River. Most records are from larvae which are easy to identify by their combination of a rhinocerus-like horn and short legs. Probably found in many more rivers than are now known. It occurs in north/northeast Georgia but number of occurrences not well known; probably uncommon to rare (Beaton, 2007).

Population Size: 10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Known from 21 states, and there must be many thousands of individuals in each river.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Channelization, dredging, siltation, agricultural non-point pollution, municipal and industrial pollution, etc... This is especially true of large rivers such as the Ohio and Mississippi.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: While some rivers are still becoming polluted, others are being cleaned up.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Apparently sensitive to pollution and/or low levels of dissolved oxygen.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Conduct status surveys for this species.

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) South Dakota to Wisconsin, Ohio, and North Carolina, south to Texas and the Florida Panhandle.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, OH, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, WI, WV

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
FL Alachua (12001), Bay (12005), Bradford (12007), Calhoun (12013)*, Columbia (12023), Escambia (12033), Gadsden (12039), Gulf (12045), Hamilton (12047), Holmes (12059), Jackson (12063), Levy (12075), Liberty (12077), Okaloosa (12091), Santa Rosa (12113), Taylor (12123), Union (12125), Walton (12131), Washington (12133)
IN Harrison (18061)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Waccasassa (03110101)+, Econfina-Steinhatchee (03110102)+, Upper Suwannee (03110201)+, Santa Fe (03110206)+, Lower Ochlockonee (03120003)+*, Apalachicola (03130011)+, St. Andrew-St. Joseph Bays (03140101)+, Yellow (03140103)+, Blackwater (03140104)+, Perdido (03140106)+, Lower Choctawhatchee (03140203)+, Lower Conecuh (03140304)+, Escambia (03140305)+
05 Blue-Sinking (05140104)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A brown dragonfly with smoky gray wings.
General Description: A medium sized brown dragonfly with smokey gray wings. Larva brown, easily identified by combination of short legs and rhinoceros-like horn on head. (Needham & Westfall, 1955)
Diagnostic Characteristics: Each wing has 2-5 amber basal spots along costa vein, each spot dark at edges to appear as extra crossveins. Male (except in FL) has a blunt projection on the trochanter of the middle leg, unique among all ODONATA.
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): BIG RIVER
Habitat Comments: Rivers, including the largest ones, sometimes large streams, all with rocks or logs to which the larvae cling. Adults feed over water at dusk.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Adult Phenology: Crepuscular
Phenology Comments: Larvae overwinter, flight season early April to early August.
Length: 5 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Biological Research Needs: Determine tolerance levels to pollutants, decide the taxonomic status of populations in the Florida Panhandle.
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: River-breeding Dragonfly Odonates

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on some evidence of historical or current presence of single or multiple specimens ideally with evidence of on-site breeding (teneral adults, mating pairs, territorial males, ovipositing females, larvae, or exuviae) at a given location with potential breeding habitat. Although oviposition may not necessarily yield progeny that survive to adulthood (Fincke, 1992) and movements resembling oviposition may not necessarily result in egg deposition (Okazawa and Ubukata, 1978; Martens, 1992; 1994), presence of on-site oviposition is here accepted as an indicator of a minimum element occurrence because the time and effort involved in determining success of emergence is beyond the scope of the general survey. As adults of some species might disperse moderate distances (see below), only sites with available larval habitat can be considered appropriate for a minimum occurrence. Single, non-breeding adults captured away from potential suitable breeding habitat should not be treated as element occurrences. Evidence is derived from reliable published observation or collection data; unpublished, though documented (i.e. government or agency reports, web sites, etc.) observation or collection data; or museum specimen information. A photograph may be accepted as documentation of an element occurrence for adults only (nymphs and subimagos are too difficult to identify in this manner) provided that the photograph shows diagnostic features that clearly delineate the species from other species with similar features. Sight records, though valuable, should not be accepted as the basis for new element occurrences. Instead, such records should be utilized to further study an area to verify the element occurrence in that area.
Separation Barriers: Within catchments there are likely no significant barriers to movement of sexually mature adults between microhabitats, with even extensive sections of inappropriate waterway or major obstructions to flow being readily traversed by adults within the flight season. Dams large enough to cause extensive pooling may serve as separation barriers.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: None
Separation Justification: Odonate dispersal capability has been poorly documented with long-range movements inferred from observations in transit and analogy with other insects (Conrad et al., 1999; Corbet, 1999). Adults are known to wander, some over great distances (not so for damselflies). Mass migration over great distances is not herein considered when drafting separation distances as such behavior is limited to few species (e.g. Anax junius, Libellula quadrimaculata and other Libellula spp., Sympetrum spp.), occurs unpredictably and infrequently (10 year cycles for L. quadrimaculata), are unidirectional or intergenerational (Freeland et al., 2003), or occurs under unusual circumstances such as irritation by trematode parasites (Dumont and Hinnekint, 1973) or during major weather events (Moskowitz et al., 2001; Russell et al., 1998).

Corbet (1999) estimated the average distance traveled for a commuting flight (between reproductive and roosting or foraging sites) to be less than 200 m but sometimes greater than one km. Distance traveled is generally greatest for river-breeding odonates, but can vary considerably between taxa (Corbet, 1999). Both D. Paulson and S. Valley (personal communication, 1998) suggest a population should be defined by the river drainage in which it is found, but drainages or catchments vary by orders of magnitude in size and isolation so it is not obvious how to effect this recommendation.

The combination of breeding dispersal in the range of a few km with the potential for periodic long distance dispersal providing landscapes are not fragmented has led to the somewhat arbitrary assignment of separation distances at 10 km (unsuitable and suitable).

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .5 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: The few studies determining area of adult foraging habitat surrounding breeding sites have indicated a range of 30 meters to 300 meters [see Briggs (1993) for Enallagma laterale; Corbet (1999) for Nesciothemis nigeriensis and Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis; Beukeman (2002) for Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis; and Samways and Steytler (1996) for Chorolestes tessalatus]. As a result, an element occurrence should include the breeding site and surrounding pond or upland habitat extending 500 m in a radius from the breeding site.
Date: 02Jun2004
Author: Cordeiro, J.
Notes: River breeding dragonflies:
ANISOPTERA: Aeshnidae: Aeshna dugesi, A. persephone, A. walkeri, Anax strenuus, A. walsinghami, Basiaeschna, Boyeria, Oplonaeschna; Cordulegastridae: Cordulegaster diadema, C. dorsalis, C. maculata; Corduliidae: Helocordulia, Somatochlora elongata, S. ensigera, S. filosa, S. forcipata, S. georgiana, S. linearis, S. margarita, S. minor, S. ozarkensis, S. tenebrosa, S. walshii; Gomphidae: Dromogomphus, Erpetogomphus, Gomphus (Gomphurus): all species, Gomphus (Gomphus): all species, Gomphus (Hylogomphus): all species, Gomphus (Stenogomphus): all species, Gomphus (Phanogomphus) borealis, G. descriptus, G. hodgesi, G. lividus, G. minutus, G. quadricolor, Hagenius, Lanthus, Neurocordulia, Octogomphus, Ophiogomphus, Phyllogomphoides albrighti, Progomphus borealis, P. obscurus, Remartina, Stylogomphus, Stylurus; Libellulidae: Brechmorhoga, Dythemis, Macrothemis, Nesogonia, Paltothemis, Pseudoleon; Macromiidae: Macromia

Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 12Jan1999
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Vogt, T.E [1992 version]; Dunkle, S.W. [1999 versi
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 16Jan1991

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Beaton, G. 2007a. Dragonflies and Damselflies of Georgia and the Southeast. University of Georgia Press: Athens, Georgia. 355 pp. Updates available at: http://www.giffbeaton.com/dragonflies.htm.

  • Cruden, R.W., and O.J. Gode, Jr. 2000. The Odonata of Iowa. Bulletin of American Odonatology 6(2):13-48.

  • Curry, J.R. 2001. Dragonflies of Indiana. Everbest Printing, Ltd.: China. xiv + 303 pp.

  • Curry, James R. Ph.D. 2001. New Species of Dragonflies (Odonata; Anisoptera) Reported for Indiana. 2pp.

  • Krotzer, R.S, J.T. Bried, M.J. Krotzer. 2008. The Odonata of Mississippi. Bulletin of American Odonatology 10(4):65-91.

  • Needham, J.G. and M.J. Westfall, Jr. 1954. A Manual of the Dragonflies of North America (Anisoptera). University of California Press, Berkeley, California. 615 pp.

  • New York Natural Heritage Program. 2014. Database of odonate records by county for northeastern U.S. states. Data contributors available: http://nynhp.org/OdonataNE.

  • Paulson, D.R. and S.W. Dunkle. 1999. A Checklist of North American Odonata. Slater Museum of Natural History, University of Puget Sound Occasional Paper, 56: 86 pp. Available: http://www.ups.edu/x7015.xml.

  • Paulson, D.R., and S.W. Dunkle. 2009. A checklist of North American Odonata including English name, etymology, type locality, and distribution. Originally published as Occasional Paper No. 56, Slater Museum of Natural History, University of Puget Sound, June 1999; completely revised March 2009. Online. Available: http://www.odonatacentral.org/docs/NA_Odonata_Checklist_2009.pdf.

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