Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Division of Entomology

Shadow Darner

Aeshna umbrosa

Walker, 1908

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The Shadow Darner male has paddle (wedge) shaped appendages. This species has straight thoracic stripes with a small backwards projection, giving them a 'walking cane' appearance. It also has no face stripes and very small blue abdominal spots. It flies late in the afternoon into the evening and prefers shade. Females usually have green markings on the thorax and abdomen.

This is a transcontinental species common in Iowa and Kansas but with limited records in Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. The few records are concentrated as for Variable Darner in the northwestern portion of the state and on the eastern edge. These counties, close to Black Hills and Iowa respectively, presumably get periodic incursions from these areas. Recent records from Heron Haven, Douglas County, would suggest both Variable Darner and Shadow Darner are usually short term visitors, from a few days to a week.

Shadow Darner
Shadow Darner male

Shadow Darner map

Green indicates accepted county record (specimen or photograph).
Yellow indicates sight record only.


Size: 68-78 mm (2.7-3.1 in)

Habitat: shaded ponds and slow streams

Great Plains Range: TX, OK, KS, NE, SD, ND, NM, CO, WY, MT, MO, IA, MN

Flight season: mid July to early October



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