The Shadow Darner is a dark dragonfly with thin, straight thoracic stripes, that look like 7s, and small abdominal spots. Males are one of two darner species with a spike on the end of the claspers. Shadow Darners prefer darkness and shadows over direct sunlight more than other species of darners
Lance-tipped Darner: The Shadow Darner and Lance-tipped Darner are the only two Darners in Minnesota that have a spike extending from the cerci of the male's claspers. The Shadow Darner is typically a bit larger but this is usually only noticeable in a side by side comparison. Shadow Darners are typically found in dark shadowed habitats where Lance-tipped Darners prefer the sun.
Black-tipped Darner: Shadow Darners and Black-tipped Darners both look darker than other darners because they have thin, straight thoracic stripes and small abdominal spots. Some Shadow Darners do not have spots on abdominal segment 10 which is one of the primary field marks of the Black-tipped Darner. Males can be distinguished by the spike extending from the cerci of the Shadow Darner's claspers, which Black-tipped darners do not posses.
Shadow Darners are more at home in the shade than other darners. They can often be found hunting in forest opeings and around woodland edges. They are usually seen later in the day and will fly until it is too dark to see them. Males spend a good amount of time patrolling for females and can often be seen hovering over the water.
Slow streams, lakes, ponds, bogs, marshes. Most often found in shady areas.
Males patrol territory looking for females, which they grab in flight. Females typically oviposit eggs into floating logs, rotting stumps or earthy banks. The cerci often break off while the female is ovipositing
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Range maps and checklists courtesy of Odonata Central. Copyright © 2016 OdonataCentral. All Rights Reserved. Abbott, J.C. 2006-2018. OdonataCentral: An online resource for the distribution and identification of Odonata. Available at www.odonatacentral.org.