Sunday, September 25, 2011

Variable Darner

Variable Darners are common, ranging from Alaska across Canada, south into much of the United States.  This species can regulate its body temperature, resulting in both its northern range and its ability to feed during the evening and night. This dragonfly preys on insects even when darkness prohibits humans from seeing them (Digital Atlas of Idaho). My bird nets pose a hazard to this darner, as it flies over the forest clearing of our backyard. Earlier this year, I also found a Variable Darner in Carleton College's arboretum prairie. The darner perched vertically from the prairie forbs on the edge of a walking path. Note this species thin thorax stripes; the variability of this field mark is why this species is called the Variable Darner.

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