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Shadow Darner - Aeshna umbrosa - male

Shadow Darner - Aeshna umbrosa - Male
Kokomo, Howard County, Indiana, USA
October 6, 2010
Size: 3"
I'm pretty sure that this is a shadow darner, but I'm curious whether it's male or female. Also wondering what the appendage dangling from the tail might be, and what the brown spot on the right eye is about. In any case, I'd love a confirmation of the i.d. Thanks!

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Shadow Darner - Aeshna umbrosa - male Shadow Darner - Aeshna umbrosa - male Shadow Darner - Aeshna umbrosa - male Shadow Darner - Aeshna umbrosa - male Shadow Darner - Aeshna umbrosa - male

Moved from ID Request.

Brown spots
Like most insect eyes a dragonfly eye is made up of many smaller eyes. Think of each one as a cylinder or narrow cone with a retina at the back. If you look down the axis of the cylinder you see the retina. Otherwise you see the side of the cone. This can cause patterns that move as your point of view moves.

Dragonfly eyes also have many slightly different kinds of receptors. Some facets are larger, some are smaller. Some detect polarized light. Some have a wider field of view (broader cone). Spots that don't move may be caused by different kinds of eyes.

Corbet's book(1) has more details on dragonfly eyes.

Edit: I just realized you are talking about a particular asymmetric brown spot. I assume it's an injury.

I saw one on a face:

Great information!
Thanks for all of the great information you've provided. I love to learn all I can! I'll assume the particular brown spot on my guy's eye is an injury - when your eyes are that big, it's probably tough to avoid getting poked in the eye once or twice :)

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