The Shadow Darner / Aeschne des pénombres

(Aeshna umbrosa)

Size/taille: 68-78 mm

Habitat: Shaded forest streams, woodland openings, small lake and pond edges, moving out into more open areas such as roads, fields and marshes as light fades.

ID hints: A thin first thoracic stripe topped with a lateral flag, somewhat resembling a walking stick or upside-down hockey stick. The male's claspers are wedge-shaped, similar to those of the Lance-tipped Darner, but very different from those of the Canada Darner and its ilk, whose claspers are of the paddle type. There are no facial crosslines present, which help distinguish is from the Sedge Darner and some other species. For a great discussion on distinguishing between the Shadow Darner and the Lance-tipped Darner, check out this informative set of graphics and pointers by Tony Thomas:

Shadow Darner vs Lance-tipped Darner by Tony Thomas

Natural History Notes: The Shadow Darner is a widespread species in North America. It is usually the last large species of dragonfly on the wing in northeastern North America, sometimes found until the very end of October here in New Brunswick. It gets its name for its propensity to regularly spend time hawking "in the shadows" and can often be seen hunting on cloudy days and into the twilight. They typically avoid hunting in full sunlight until later in the season, when the temperature becomes too cold for evening flight. Another interesting fact about the Shadow Darner is that in the northern parts of the range of this species, the larvae may well take an extra year to mature, meaning that these individuals will be ready to emerge earlier in the year.  Below are images of a typical male and female:





Check out this great Shadow Darner location data map:

Map by Jimmy Dee showing locations of Shadow Darner (Aeshna umbrosa) in New Brunswick to date

Tags: #113, Aeschne, Aeshna, Darner, Odonata, Shadow, account, blog, pénombres, species, More…umbrosa

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Replies to This Discussion


Great, Jimmy!! I linked this into the Species Account as well.

Thanks Denis and Tony ... these maps are all to 2006 ... I made a map for each species so far ...except the 2 top (spotted and lyre) will do them too and any other you guys prepare


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