Saturday, September 13, 2014

Yellow Female Lance-tipped Darner

On Tuesday I came upon this large, striking, yellow-striped and spotted dragonfly in a weedy patch of grass near Union Lake here in Rice Co., Minnesota—just about knocked my socks off if I had socks on, which I didn’t, since I was wearing sandals.

Female Lance-tipped Darners come in blue, green, and yellow morphs. (Here is a photo of a male.) Why do darners appear in three morphs? I previously discussed why some female dragonflies are found in two color phases. Scott King (pers. com.) muses that being yellow is advantageous as the grassy patches they inhabit turn yellow with the fall season, thus rendering the dragonfly more camouflaged. In any case, the yellow morphs tend to sport orange-brown-tinted wings, visible in these photos.

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