Emeralds (Corduliidae)

Note that the taxonomy of the genus Epitheca is under review and that some authors place all current members of the genus except for Prince Baskettail in a new genus Tetragoneuria. Prince may be placed in Epicordulia.

Common Baskettail (Epitheca cynosura)

Common throughout state very early in year. Amount of black in wing bases varies, here are some examples. Some like upper left have almost no black, most have amount at upper right, and a few have more but does not extend to nodus or reach rear edge of wing. Females two upper right images, note very short cerci. Older adults get pale green eyes as at middle left.

6 Mar- 4 Jul

Slender Baskettail (Epitheca costalis)
(formerly Stripe-winged Baskettail)

Only a few females actually have striped wings, so most are exceedingly similar to unmarked versions of Common. Look for a narrowing of the forward part of the abdomen and long cerci compared to Common in males, and very long cerci in females (lower right).
13 Mar- 27 Jun

Mantled Baskettail (Epitheca semiaquea)

This baskettail has the most color in the wing of all GA species, 16 records from mostly the eastern coastal plain. Smaller than Common, and black reaches nodus and usually reaches trailing edge of wing. Females middle and lower right.   

13 Mar- 28 Apr

Prince Baskettail (Epitheca princeps)

Note large size and black wing markings. Found throughout state. Rarely seen perched, usually in flight making long slow patrols just away from shore, with long slender abdomen. Compare to Common Whitetail female, which is stockier and perches low. Almost always perches with abdomen curved as shown.

2 May- 14 Nov


Note: The three species shown below are very scarce in GA, with only a small number of records each. They are very difficult to identify, and usually require in-hand examination of appendages.

Sepia Baskettail (Epitheca sepia)

The scans on the left are from near Tallahassee 21 Apr 2005. 5 records in GA, including the image on the right from Glynn County 10 May 2006.

10 May- 29 Sep


Robust Baskettail (Epitheca spinosa)

There is only one historical record from GA, without county or date information. Poorly known in the south, it may occur anywhere in the state south of the mountains, in swampy habitat, and is on the wing very early, probably flying mostly the first three weeks in March. In the hand, the male cerci are distinct, but in the field very difficult to separate from Common Baskettail. Robust is slightly larger, both in length and chunkier, with darker green eyes when mature. Females very difficult to identify even in the hand, but also slightly larger than Common (lower right). The two males were 46mm and 48mm, with Common only known to 43mm. All shots from Tuscaloosa AL 29 Mar or 5 Apr 2006.
17 Mar- 8 Apr

Florida Baskettail (Epitheca stella)

These scans of Florida Baskettail are from south Florida 16 Jan 2004. 3 records in GA, only known date 16 Mar. Probably has a very early flight season in the state.


Selys' Sundragon (Helocordulia selysii)

Only a few verified records for the state (6). The first at lower left was near Conyers 17 Mar 2002. The male (left) and female (right) in upper row were in Taylor County 23 Mar 2003.

10 Mar- 8 May


Uhler's Sundragon (Helocordulia uhleri)

Only 4 records for GA, these are from 15 Apr 2002 and 25 Apr 2004. Probably overlooked among baskettails, which are similar in flight.  Note amber panels between black at base of wings to separate from Sely's. Also note female at lower right has much thicker abdomen. Lower left by Dan Vickers.

29 Mar- 5 Jun

Alabama Shadowdragon (Neurocordulia alabamensis)

Shadowdragons (Neurocordulia) Four species have been found in Georgia, either once or twice: Alabama (N alabamensis), Smoky (N molesta), Umber (N obsoleta), and Cinnamon (N virginiensis). All fly primarily after dark and are very difficult to find! These images are from Bibb County AL 23 Jul 2003.
22 May- 23 Jul

Smoky Shadowdragon (Neurocordulia molesta)

There are only five GA records of this species. These shots are from the Altamaha River near Doctortown on 5 June 2005.

20 Apr- 17 Jun

Umber Shadowdragon (Neurocordulia obsoleta)

There are only two GA records of this species (Toombs and Morgan Counties), these shots are from CT.

1 Apr- 23 Oct

Cinnamon Shadowdragon (Neurocordulia virginiensis)

There are only two GA records of this species (Dougherty Co and the two dark images on the left from Monroe County). Image at lower right is from AL, and lower left and upper right are from near Tallahassee 23 Apr 2005.

2 May- 18 Aug

Fine-lined Emerald (Somatochlora filosa)

There are 6 records mostly in south GA. Note the thin pale stripes on the side of the thorax, which may be faded in older individuals. Male cerci similar to Mocha but no tooth, and female has long curved ovipositor plus long cerci. Males on left and females on right.

18 Jul- 5 Nov

Mocha Emerald (Somatochlora linearis)

The most common emerald, but still only 14 county  records. Both sexes are pretty dull brown for an emerald, but fairly large in size. Thorax mostly unmarked, one spot on segment 1 of abdomen. Male cerci have obvious tooth (see lower right) and female ovipositor short and perpendicular. All males on left, female upper right.

13 Jun- 18 Sep

Clamp-tipped Emerald (Somatochlora tenebrosa)

About 12 records for Georgia. Adult male upper left, note shape of appendages (and lower right). Fresh male, very brightly marled for this species, lower left. Adult female upper and middle right, note perpendicular ovipositor. Markings on thorax of both sexes fade with age but almost always visible.

27 May- 2 Oct

Treetop Emerald (Somatochlora provocans)

Only one record for Georgia, in Lee County. Should be uncommon throughout the state... but seems to be hard to find!  Adult male upper left, note shape of appendages (and lower right). Appendages vaguely similar in shape to Clamp-tipped but much flatter in profile. Adult female both middle images, note long ovipositor but short cerci. Markings on thorax of both sexes fade with age but almost always visible.

18 Jun- 23 Aug

Other emeralds are rare in Georgia and tough to find. The other two that have been seen here are Ski-tipped (S elongata, 1 record) and Coppery (S georgina, 2 records). A third, Calvert's Emerald (S calverti), should occur here, and is shown in these two shots from FL.

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