A long and large dragonfly, the Lance-tipped Darner has blue (or green) spots and stripes all over its sleek body.
One of the Mosaic Darners, Lance-tipped Darners have a busier pattern on their abdomens than other types of darners. Seen from above, pairs of large blue spots alternate with pairs of small blue specks on each segment. From the side, an oblong blue spot appears to be split in two by the segment line. Two angled blue stripes sit on the sides of the thorax and two green stripes are visible behind the head. A short black pointy projection that resembles a lance, or spike, sticks out from between the claspers at the tip of the abdomen. Females are more brown and green or yellow.
This is a cold-climate darner that enjoys the cooler summers often typical in southern parts of provinces and northern states. They are almost always near a body or source of slow-moving water like a lake, lagoon, pond, or marsh. This aquatic habitat is essential for rearing young. Offspring are called naiads and they hatch from eggs laid underwater, and there they remain, feeding on small aquatic insects until it is time to molt into the winged adult form. At that point, the lobster-like naiads crawl out of the water and shed their juvenile exoskeletons.
Because the range for the Lance-tipped Darner is northern, they are more active later in the summer, after temperatures have properly warmed up. They may remain active until middle autumn when the temperatures begin to drop considerably.
Scientific Name: Aeshna constricta
Dragonfly or Damselfly
Size (Adult; Length): 45mm to 65mm (1.76in to 2.54in)
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