Calvert County (MD) Dragonflies and Damselflies: Part Six – Dragonfly Family Aeshnidae

Family: Aeshnidae (Darners)

The Common Green Darner and the Swamp Darner are the only two species of this family that are represented for Calvert County in the iNaturalist database and that is from a single observation of each. Richard Orr’s database lists nine species from the Aeshnidae family as being present in Calvert County. St. Marys County currently has a single species (Common Green Darner) of this family in iNaturalist contrasted with seven species present in Richard Orr’s database. Charles County has three species represented in iNaturalist and Richard Orr’s database contains eight species present for the county. Consequently, much work remains to be done in order to bring the iNaturalist observations closer to the definitive database of county sightings.

Listed below are the species within the Aeshnidae family that have been observed in at least one of the southern Maryland counties and a comparison of the two databases is made (as of January, 2020). As was done with the previous family, I have included with each species a note extracted from the book “Natural History of DelMarVa Dragonflies and Damselflies” by Hal White (reference 1). Of particular relevance for Calvert County, I have also included information on the eight species of this family that were observed at the Cove Point LNG Property and reported in “2011-2012 Survey of the Dragonflies and Damseflies (Odonata) of the Cove Point LNG Property (Calvert County, Maryland” by Richard Orr (reference 2).

Shadow Darner/Aeshna umbrosa
This darner prefers a shady habitat and can feed at dusk, hence its name. (1)
Cove Point adult abundance and flight period – rare/14-Oct to 02-Dec. (2)
iNaturalist research grade observations: ​ Calvert = 0​ St. Marys = 0​​ Charles = 1 (Oct)
MD Biodiversity (i.e., Richard Orr):​ Calvert – present St. Marys – X ​ Charles - present

Common Green Darner/Anax junius
This is the only species of dragonfly known from all 50 states and it has also sporadically appeared in England. (1)
Cove Point adult abundance and flight period – common/29-Mar to 14-Oct. (2)
iNaturalist research grade observations:​ Calvert = 1 (Aug) St. Marys = 1​(Sept)​ Charles = 0
MD Biodiversity (i.e., Richard Orr):​ Calvert – present St. Marys – present​ Charles – present

Comet Darner/Anax longipes
This darner prefers flooded sand pits and other ponds, preferably fishless, and is most often observed in June and July. (1)
Cove Point adult abundance and flight period – rare/05-Jun to 05-May. (2)
iNaturalist research grade observations:​ Calvert = 0​ St. Marys = 0​​ Charles = 0
MD Biodiversity (i.e., Richard Orr):​ Calvert – present St. Marys – present Charles - present

Springtime Darner/Basiaeschna janata
As its name suggests, it can be found early in the spring patrolling steam edges. (1)
Cove Point adult abundance and flight period – rare/21-Apr to 05-May. (2)
iNaturalist research grade observations:​ Calvert = 0​ St. Marys = 0​​ Charles = 0
MD Biodiversity (i.e., Richard Orr):​ Calvert – present St. Marys – present​ Charles - present

Fawn Darner/Boyeria vinosa
Female darners are the only dragonflies that have ovipositors that are capable of a sting. (1)
Cove Point adult abundance and flight period – rare/03-Sept. (2)
iNaturalist research grade observations: ​Calvert = 0​ St. Marys = 0​​ Charles = 0
MD Biodiversity (i.e., Richard Orr):​ Calvert – present St. Marys – present​ Charles - present

Swamp Darner/Epiaeschna heros
The females lay their eggs in wet, rotten wood in swampy areas. (1)
Cove Point adult abundance and flight period – uncommon/04-May to 17-Jul. (2)
iNaturalist research grade observations:​ Calvert = 1 (May) St. Marys = 0​ Charles = 5 (May-Aug)
MD Biodiversity (i.e., Richard Orr):​ Calvert – present St. Marys – present​ Charles - present

Taper-tailed Darner/Gomphaeschna antilope
S2 State Rare (see below for definition)
This darner has an inclination to enter buildings and is attracted to insect light-traps. (1)
iNaturalist research grade observations:​ Calvert = 0​ St. Marys = 0​​ Charles = 0
MD Biodiversity (i.e., Richard Orr):​ Calvert – present St. Marys – X​ Charles - X

Harlequin Darner/ Gomphaeschna furcillata
S3 Watch List (see below for definition)
Often lands on sunlit, vertical surfaces such as tree trunks and it will frequently mistake a human visitor for such and make a surprise landing on the individual. (1)
Cove Point adult abundance and flight period – rare/21-Apr to 24-May. (2)
iNaturalist research grade observations:​ Calvert = 0​ St. Marys = 0​​ Charles = 0
MD Biodiversity (i.e., Richard Orr):​ Calvert – present St. Marys – present​ Charles - present

Cyrano Darner/Nasiaeschna pentacantha
S3 Watch List (see below for definition)
It is named for its prominent and distinctive nose like that of Cyrano de Bergerac of literary fame. (1)
Cove Point adult abundance and flight period – uncommon/05-May to 17-Jun. (2)
iNaturalist research grade observations:​ Calvert = 0​ St. Marys = 0​​ Charles = 1 (June)
MD Biodiversity (i.e., Richard Orr):​ Calvert – present St. Marys – present Charles - present

Definitions from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources “List of Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Animals of Maryland”:
S2 - Imperiled / State Rare — At high risk of extinction or extirpation due to restricted range, few populations or occurrences, steep declines, severe threats, or other factors. Typically occurring in 6-20 populations.

S3 - Vulnerable / Watchlist — At moderate risk of extinction or extirpation due to a fairly restricted range, relatively few populations or occurrences, recent and widespread declines, threats, or other factors. Typically occurring in 21-80 populations.

Anotado por rosalie-rick rosalie-rick, febrero 09, domingo 17:11

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