Wisconsin Odonata Survey

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Neurocordulia yamaskanensis  (Provancher, 1875)
Stygian Shadowdragon


Corduliidae, Emerald Family

The shadowdragons are medium-sized, orange to brown dragonflies that hang in dense shaded vegetation by day and become active and feed only for brief periods at dawn and dusk. Therefore, the adults are rarely seen unless a person specifically looks for them.

Status-Global/State:

Global: G5     Wisconsin: S3    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

This brown-bodied dragonfly varies from 1.8 to 2.2 inches in length. There are a few dots on front edges of the wings with brown-edged veins, but hindwings have large amber spots at the base. There is little pattern on the body, and yellowish lateral stripes on the abdomen. The sides of the thorax are lighter than the front. The eyes are brownish green. The abdomen may become blackish with age. Like the smoky shadowdragon, the stygian shadowdragon tends to fly over water during the last hour before darkness, most intensely in the last half hour. Populations of Neurocordulia are therefore most easily found by searching appropriate habitats for exuviae during June and July.

Description of Habitat/Range:

Common throughout eastern United States, from Tennessee to Maine, the stygian shadowdragon prefers clean lakes and large rivers with water in constant motion and not too acid. It is occasionally found throughout Wisconsin in larger rivers.

Flight Season:

Throughout its range, the typical flight season is from mid-May to early August.


Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
12%
(38)
71%
(221)
12%
(37)
4%
(12)
1%
(2)
Shading illustrates monthly percentages of the total flight season records for the species. Each flight season record is a unique date/location/observer combination where one or more adult or an exuvia was recorded (excludes nymphs). The actual number of flight season records for each month is shown in parentheses.

Flight seasons begin earlier in the southern part of the state, often by a week or more. Also, flight charts may not be accurate for rare species because of few data available.
View user-submitted photos

(Click on photos to enlarge)
Photo of Male stygian shadowdragon
Male stygian shadowdragon. © Dan Jackson

Male stygian shadowdragon
Photo of Male stygian shadowdragon
Male stygian shadowdragon. © Dan Jackson

Male stygian shadowdragon
Photo of Teneral male stygian shadowdragon
Teneral male stygian shadowdragon. © W.A. Smith

Teneral male stygian shadowdragon
Photo of Teneral male stygian shadowdragon
Teneral male stygian shadowdragon. © W.A. Smith

Teneral male stygian shadowdragon
Photo of Female stygian shadowdragon
Female stygian shadowdragon. © W.A. Smith

Female stygian shadowdragon



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