lake darner

(Aeshna eremita)

Conservation Status
lake darner
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N4 - Apparently Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Lake darner is the largest mosaic darner (genus Aeshna) in North America. Adults are 19 16 to 3 long. The female is slightly smaller than the male. It is found throughout Canada, the northern United States, and the Rocky Mountains. In Minnesota it is fairly common in the northern third of the state. It is a late-season dragonfly, flying to the end of September.

The body is dark brown with blue or green markings that darken in cool temperatures. Females have three color forms; green, blue, and intermediate. Most females are green form.

The thorax of both males and females has two shoulder stripes on the top and a pair of lateral stripes on each side. On males the shoulder stripe is mostly blue, grading to green toward the front. The lateral stripes are parallel and blue grading to green toward the front. On green form females all of the stripes are yellowish-green. On blue form females the stripes are blue grading to green toward the front or all blue. The first (anterior) lateral stripe is deeply notched. The notch is acutely angled, less than 90 °. There is a small dot in the notch. The rear lateral stripe is shallowly notched toward the front.

The abdomen is slender with rows of pale spots in a mosaic pattern. On males all 10 abdominal segments have a pair of blue upper (dorsal) spots and blue lateral spots. On green form females all of the spots are yellowish-green. On intermediate form females the dorsal spots are yellowish-green, the lateral spots blue. On newly emerged females all of the markings are blue. On blue form females they remain blue. On the male the pair of appendages at the end of the abdomen (cerci) are paddle-shaped when viewed from above. On females they are large and leaf-like. They do not break off during egg laying.

The wings are clear. The wingspan is up to 5. The forewings are slightly narrower than the hindwings. The forewing and hindwing triangles are equal in size.

The face is pale grayish-green. There is a black T-shaped spot on the upper part of the face (frons) below where the eyes meet, and a black horizontal stripe across the middle of the face. The compound eyes are greenish-blue and meet along a long margin at the top of the head.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: 19 16 to 3

Wingspan: Up to 5

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  Canada darner (Aeshna canadensis) is smaller. The posterior thoracic stripe is not notched.  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Bogs, lakes with marshy borders, large ponds, and sometimes slow streams.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Mid-June through September

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

The adult hunts mostly during the day but also sometimes at dusk. It is a strong flier but does not hover during flight. When hunting it cruises above the water surface with its abdomen slightly arched. It often feeds in swarms, sometimes in great numbers, often with other dragonfly species.

It often perches vertically on tree trunks, rarely on the ground.

Males are not territorial.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

The female deposits eggs one at a time on floating vegetation or inside the stem of emergent vegetation. The larvae (naiads) reach full size in their first year. They overwinter in a state of decreased metabolic activity (diapause).

 
     
 

Nymph Food

 
 

Insect larvae, freshwater shrimp, tadpoles, and small fish

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Soft-bodied flying insects

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 18, 24, 27, 29.

 
  8/2/2019      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Fairly common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)  
 

Suborder

Epiprocta  
  Infraorder Anisoptera (dragonflies)  
 

Superfamily

Aeshnoidea  
 

Family

Aeshnidae (darners)  
 

Genus

Aeshna (mosaic darners)  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Aeschna eremita

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

lake darner

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Cercus

One of a pair of small sensory appendages at the end of the abdomen of many insects and other arthropods. In Odonata, one of the upper pair of claspers. Plural: cerci.

 

Diapause

A period of decreased metabolic activity and suspended development.

 

Frons

The upper part of an insect’s face, roughly corresponding to the forehead.

 

Naiad

The aquatic larval form (nymph) of a dragonfly, mayfly, or stonefly.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

Share your photo of this insect.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.
 
 

Jeremy L

 
 

Darner with Mosaic Body on Mosaic Rocks

 
    lake darner      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
    lake darner      
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
 
     
     
     

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

Share your video of this insect.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.
 
 

 

 
     
     
       
       
       
 
Other Videos
 
  Finding Uncommon Dragonfly Species
Bob Danley
 
   
 
About

Published on Nov 8, 2013

Mud Lake is a subalpine fen near Skalkaho Pass, Montana. Fens are infrequent, as such the community of species using this habitat are uncommon to rare. I have visited this site several times looking for two particular dragonfly species found here: Lake Darner (Aeshna eremita) and Subarctic Darner (Aeshna subarctica). This video captures the adventure and my happiness in finally finding and photographing them on September 9, 2013.

 
  Mosaic Darner, Hawker Dragonfly (Aeshna genus)
Wandering Sole Images
 
   
 
About

Published on Feb 10, 2014

A Mosaic Darner from the Aeshna genus near Creston, BC. It's most likely a Lake Darner (Aeshna eremita), Variable Darner (Aeshna interrupta), or a Canada Darner (Aeshna canadensis).

Aeshnidae family, Aeshna genus, Canada dragonfly, Canadian dragonfly, Anisoptera

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this insect.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.
 
  Jeremy L
7/30/2019

Location: Brooklyn Park

Darner with Mosaic Body on Mosaic Rocks

lake darner  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

Binoculars


Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2021 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.