Edge of the Prairiethe sand prairies and savannas of the Chicago region

    Odonata: Epiaeschna heros
    Swamp Darner

The Swamp Darner is a spectacular insect, huge (up to nearly 3.5") with bright blue eyes. This one was photographed on the porch of our log cabin at Lena Park on the evening of June 5, 2002. It was a cool, rainy evening and the insect was quite lethargic. It even allowed me to pick it up; it seemed to enjoy the warmth. For a larger, higher-res look, click on the image.

Epiaeschna heros, the Swamp Darner dragonfly

According to James R. Curry's Dragonflies of Indiana (Indiana Academy of Science, 2001), the Swamp Darner's habitat includes "Seasonal forest pools and swamps; flood plains, forested streams" - this one was found in an open oak woodland, but near some forested swamp. According to Curry, they eat a wide range of insects, including mosquitoes.


The Swamp Darner on Randy L. Emmitt's nature photography site.

Swamp Darner distribution in Indiana on the USGS's Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center - note that the specimen above was photographed in Starke County, which isn't listed as a recorded locality.

The larval form is shown on this U-Michigan web site, with additional information.



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