Saturday, October 5, 2019

Shadow Darner

Among the Paddle-tailed Darners we found on 30 September 2019 at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, we found this Shadow Darner. Its blue abdomen spots are relatively small and the last segments of the abdomen are dark. Shadow Dragons are, indeed, often found among Paddle-tailed Darners.

Shadow Darners, as their name implies, often lurk in the shade.  Females lay their eggs on logs and twings in the water or on tree trunks or mud banks, even above the water. This species flies later in the day than other darners, feeding in clearings and forest edges. They often fly until dark and, being relatively cold-tolerant, are among the latest flying dragonflies in the fall,.

Two races are described—one from the Rocky Mountains, the other across the Great Plains. Eastern individuals have small abdominal spots with tend to be greenish on the end of the abdomen. The information for this post comes from Paulson (2009).

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