Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Division of Entomology

Smoky Shadowdragon

Neurocordulia molesta

Walsh, 1863

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The Smoky Shadowdragon is a medium-sized brown species with smoky gray or brownish wings and olive green eyes. The wings have short rows of small dark dots at the base and along the leading edge. The male has a projection on the inside of the middle leg which differentiates it from any other dragonfly. The female looks much like the male. They fly over water during the last hour before darkness.

This southern and eastern species is rare in Nebraska, which is at the extreme western edge of its range. There are only three Nebraska records, two of which were larvae. It is a species usually found only after sunset, feeding low over rivers. It is difficult to catch, feeding sitesare difficult to locate, and few people collect after sunset.

Smoky Shadowdragon
Smoky Shadowdragon
Smoky Shadowdragon map

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

Size: 45-53mm (1.8-2.1 in)

Habitat: large rivers

Great Plains Range: TX, OK, KS, NE, MO, IA

Flight season: June

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