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Fawn Darner

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Boyeria vinosa

Say, 1839


Order Odonata
Suborder Anisoptera
Superfamily Aeshnoidea
Family Aeshnidae
Genus Boyeria
Species vinosa (Say, 1839) [Aeschna]


Identification

This is a common species found throughout the eastern half of the region. Fawn Darner has a large head and green face. Th ere is a dark basal spot in each wing. The wings themselves become strongly tinged with amber in older individuals. The pterothorax has two distinctive pale yellow or cream colored spots laterally and there are rows of pale spots on the abdomen.

Size

Total length: 60-71 mm; abdomen: 45-56 mm; hindwing: 39-46 mm

Similar Species

Springtime Darner (Basiaeschna janata ) has blue spots on the abdomen and lacks two pale yellow spots on the side of the thorax. Harlequin (Gomphaeshna furcillata ) and Taper-tailed (G. antilope ) Darner also both have blue spots on the abdomen and lateral thoracic stripes rather than spots.

Habitat

Forest streams, rivers and lake shores with sufficient shade.

Discussion

This species could be considered crepuscular, with its chief activity occurring well into the evening. One study reported that it often competes with bats for prey around lake edges. It is not uncommon, however, to see males patrolling along shaded areas of streams or lake shores earlier in the day. Fawn Darner has been called the most abundant and widely distributed river dragonfly in the Great Plains. I have found them so abundant in some areas as to be overflowing collection heads of a malaise trap. Williamson also commented on the discriminating nature of this dragonfly's feeding; occasionally rejecting some prey after seizing it.

Distribution

Eastern U.S. and Canada extending westward to Oklahoma and Texas