Thursday, October 25, 2012
Last Dragonfly Image of the Season?
One of the largest dragonflies, the Lake Darner (Aeshna eremita) has a wingspan of nearly 6." This was one of the few photos I was able to snap of one during my fall camping trip. Unfortunately, I never saw it land on anything other than logs and trees, which don't make the greatest backgrounds. On the bright side, you can see how easily they blend into their surroundings!
Turns out they rarely land on vegetation and even then, it's usually the females while laying eggs. They also are continually on the move, searching for prey - they don't hover like many other types of dragonflies. Their preferred habitat is clear, open lakes and slow moving streams, along with bogs and fens.
One of the determining ID factors is the segmentation or notch in the lateral stripes on the thorax. This isn't the greatest angle to see them, but thanks to its clear wings, you can see the large indentation in the blue stripe here (right side, kind of in the "shoulder" area):
Lake Darners, like many other darners, are migratory dragonflies and are found throughout Canada, the Northern United States, down along the West Coast and into the Rockies. In my research I couldn't find anything that says where they actually migrate to, so if anyone has that information, please comment below.
Here's a really neat article on how scientists are studying dragonfly migration by The Dragonfly Woman (@DragonflyWoman2).