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Lance-tipped Darner



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Aeshna constricta

Say, 1839


Order Odonata
Suborder Anisoptera
Superfamily Aeshnoidea
Family Aeshnidae
Genus Aeshna
Species constricta Say, 1839 [Aeshna]


Identification

This is a robust widely distributed northern species. The thorax is reddish-brown with yellowish stripes. The second lateral stripe is distinctly broader than the first. The wings are clear and there are generally six paranal cells in the hindwing, including three within the anal loop. The abdomen is brown with bluish-green spots. The male ce rci have a prominent posteroventrally projecting spine.

Size

Total length: 65-72 mm; abdomen: 45-57 mm; hindwing: 42-47 mm.

Similar Species

Lance-tipped Darner is most similar to Shadow Darner (A. umbrosa ) when comparing the male caudal appendages, but the two can be distinguished in the hand by the color of the back of the head, which is pale in the Shadow and black in Lance-tipped Darner.

Habitat

Open sunlit ponds, slow streams and marshes with emergent vegetation.

Discussion

This species has only been reported from Arkansas once. It is a common northern species that is active during sunny days, but like most Mosaic Darners it is also active at dusk. Egg laying requires a relatively longer period of time than in other species and takes place in aquatic plants, up to 1 m above the waterline.

Distribution

Northern North America from southern Canada southward to northern Arkansas and New Mexico.