Thursday, August 29, 2013

Shadow Darner

Monday, the fall banding season began not with a bird, but with a dragonfly. Odonates are difficult to remove from the bird nets. But, once untangled, having the critter in hand makes for close inspection. I should go into the field with a net. Perhaps I could drag a wagon behind me with all the equipment I would need for birding, dragonflying and banding.

The prominent throacic stripes and relatively unbanded abdomen suggested a Shadow Darner. The clincher, however, is the spine on the lower part of the long claspers at the end of the abdomen (see bottom photo). So add a hand lens to that wagon!

This is my second Shadow Darner—see post of 30 August 2011. There I wrote about this species’ adaptations to cool weather—definitely NOT a problem this year. I caught this year’s Shadow Darner, nevertheless, first thing in the morning, before the heat of the day. The darner flew across a forest opening, which happened to contain my banding net. 

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