Female Sedge Darner Dragonfly (Aeshna juncea) lays her eggs.
Miller Lake, Medicine Bow National Forest, Laramie, WY
August 1, 2023
This particular species of dragonfly is quite widespread, found across Europe, Asia and North America. It is are also called the Common Hawker.
They are part of a group of dragonflies called “hawkers” or “darners.” Why call them darners? It was an old (odd) belief that these dragonflies were the Devil’s darning needles and could darn people’s mouth’s shut. A possibly handy talent but a bizarre idea for sure. Sometimes they are more specifically called “mosaic darners” because of the attractive intricate markings of color, spots, and lines on their abdomens.
Why are they also called hawkers? This label makes more sense since as they hunt like mini-hawks, often catching insects mid-air. Hawkers are among the fastest and largest dragonflies and have impressive flying skills, including hovering and flying backward.
Dragonflies are the colorful living drones of the insect world. Zipping through space, flying in unpredictable aerial patterns, in a voracious search for insects. One can wonder if they ever rest.
But they do stop briefly to copulate and to then lay their eggs. It was the latter that I was lucky to witness. This female paused to drop her eggs in the cool lake water. They will hatch into aquatic larvae and eventually emerge to become the next generation of Sedge Darners.
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