Dragonfly larvae were sampled in Little Creek, Greenville, SC. The distributions of five common species were described relative to sediment type, body size, and the presence of other larvae. In total, 337 quadrats (1m by 0.5 m) were sampled by kick seine. For each quadrat, the substrate was classified as sand, sand-cobble mix, cobble, coarse, or rock, and water depth and distance from bank were measured. Larvae were identified to species, and the lengths of the body, head, and metafemur were measured. Species were distributed differently across sediment types: sanddragons, Progomphus obscurus (Rambur) (Odonata: Gomphidae), were common in sand; twin-spotted spiketails, Cordulegaster maculata Selys (Odonata: Cordulegastridae), preferred a sand-cobble mix; Maine snaketails, Ophiogomphus mainensis Packard (Odonata: Gomphidae), preferred cobble and coarse sediments; fawn darners, Boyeria vinosa (Say) (Odonata: Aeshnidae), preferred coarse sediments; and Eastern least clubtails, Stylogomphus albistylus (Hagen) (Odonata: Gomphidae), preferred coarse and rock sediments. P. obscurus and C. maculata co-occurred more frequently than expected by chance, as did O. mainensis, B. vinosa, and S. albistylus. Mean size varied among species, and species preferences contributed to differences in mean size across sediment types. There were significant negative associations among larval size classes: small larvae (<12 mm) occurred less frequently with large larvae (>15 mm) than expected by chance, and large larvae were alone in quadrats more frequently than other size classes. Species may select habitats at a large scale based on sediment type and their functional morphology, but small scale distributions are consistent with competitive displacement or intraguild predation.
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Vol. 15 • No. 1