Image Credit: Desira F., taken by the Duck River in middle TN
A fast and formidable flier, the Dragonhunter does just what its name suggests: it hunts dragonflies.
The large Dragonhunter is a type of Clubtail dragonfly, a group that generally has a wide tail tip (though not all do). This species may be completely green, including its eyes and wings, or it may be black with a yellow stripe running down its abdomen, and diagonal yellow stripes on the sides of its thorax. Each of the four wings in this variation has a thin, black bar on the front edge near the tip. This mighty Dragonfly eats other, small dragonflies and insects, often capturing them while in flight.
The naiad, or juvenile form, of the Dragonhunter looks more like a cross between a bug and a crustacean. The brown naiad has a round abdomen that has plate-like segments. The three pairs of legs are shortest by the head and longest in back. They are often spotted near water sources, like on the banks of creeks, streams, or slow-moving rivers. Dragonfly naiads spend their life underwater, feeding on other aquatic insects and possibly plant matter. Once they have grown and developed, they crawl out of the water in order to molt into their winged adult form on land. Because they are only on land in this form for a short time, they are not easily recognized for what they are: immature dragonflies.
Scientific Name: Hagenius brevistylus
Dragonfly or Damselfly
Size (Adult; Length): 72mm to 85mm (2.81in to 3.32in)
Colors: green, brown, black, yellow
Descriptors: long tail, yellow stripes, green eyes, brown bug, river, creek, armor plates
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