Shadow Darner dragonflies (Aeshna umbrosa)

Those who know me well are familiar with one of many “Walterisms”: “I haven’t ‘seen’ something until I have photographed it.” My rationale is two-fold: 1) A photograph verifies a sighting. 2) The detail visible in a good photograph exceeds the acuity of the human eye.

Although I have spotted Shadow Darner dragonflies (Aeshna umbrosa) in the past, I hadn’t “seen” them until I photographed several of these handsome darners near a vernal pool in the forest at Huntley Meadows Park on 24 October 2014.

This post features photos of two male Shadow Darners (as indicated by their terminal appendages): the first male is shown in Photos 1-2; the second in Photo 3.

Shadow Darner dragonfly (male)

Photo 1. Male one.

Swamp Darner dragonflies (Epiaeschna heros) look somewhat similar to Shadow Darners: Swamp Darners are a spring species in the Darner Family; Shadow Darners are a fall species of mosaic darner. Both species seem to prefer the same habitat. All things being equal, Swamp Darners are more numerous than Shadow Darners: I saw LOTS of Swamp Darners during spring; in contrast, I’ve seen only a few Shadow Darners during fall … so far!

Shadow Darner dragonfly (male)

Photo 2. Male one.

The following side view of another male Shadow Darner shows its face, the side of its thorax, and its hamules (located beneath S2-3, that is, abdominal segments two and three). Remember that odonate abdominal segments are numbered from front to back.

Shadow Darner dragonfly (male)

Photo 3. Male two.

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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6 Responses to “Shadow Darner dragonflies (Aeshna umbrosa)”

  1. hihowsyou25 Says:

    Wonderful capture!

  2. Mike Powell Says:

    Awesome shots, Walter, of an incredibly beautiful dragonfly. The colors and patterns are really striking and your managed to capture them in great detail. The terminal appendages look dangerous, almost like miniature alligator heads.

  3. Top 10 Photos of 2014 | walter sanford's photoblog Says:

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