I got real luck today while on an Entomology Walk today, spotted a Shadow Darner (Aeshna umbrosa) flying ahead of me on the trail. My first thought was it was just a Green Darner based on my distance from it, but as I got closer there was nothing recognizable to me. It flew into some dead Multifloral Rose and tucked itself in under one of the branches. Rats! I didn’t really say that but I’m trying to keep this tale from going Blue.
Not wanting it to take off, I decided to approach from the rear. That means crashing through crotch high Multifloral Rose & native Blackberry shrubs. I managed to get into a sweet spot and luckily he changed position, which worked out for me. Was able to pop off about 25 images with 3 really good keepers and a few ok ones.
At this point I still didn’t know what it was but after my return home my field guide offered some clues. Narrowing it down to Shadow Darner or a Green-stripped Darner, I sent the image off to my favorite website, Bug Guide. Within 30 minutes it was ID as a Shadow, which is the first reporting of a Shadow Darner in Middlesex County for that site. Yeah for me! It just goes to show what one will find in the Great State of New Jersey.
|Shadow Darner (Aeshna umbrosa)|
Just so you know, I use “Field Guide to Dragonflies & Damselflies of New Jersey” by Allen E. Barlow, David M. Golden and Jim Bangma, available here. Well worth the 40 dollar I paid for it.