Swamp Darner
Epiaeschna heros
The Swamp Darner (Epiaeschna heros) is a very large dragonfly which occurs over much of the eastern United States. As the name implies, it may be found in swamps and others areas of quiet water. It hangs from tree branches when resting but is often encountered in flight as it courses back and forth in sunny locations in the forest. The individual shown in the first shot here was hanging on a tree limb about 7 feet above the ground along the Sundew Trail in the Big Thicket National Preserve, Tyler Co., Texas in June, 2003. The photo is a digital capture with a Canon EOS 10D and EF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS lens with a 2X extender and 550 EX flash.
The female Swamp Darner in the next 3 shots is seen ovipositing in the soft mud near the edge of a wooded pond in Jasper Co., Texas, in June, 2008. Another shot of the same individual shows the darner hanging from a perch. These 3 shots were taken with a Canon EOS 1D Mark III and EF 300mm F/4 L IS lens and 2X extender and flash.
The male Swamp Darner shown here was in the northeast Texas Panhandle in Hemphill County in July, 2009. This represents the first record for the Texas Panhandle and is almost the western most record ever recorded for the species. The next 2 shots at right show a male Swamp Darner in the Sam Houston National Forest, San Jacinto Co., Texas, in April, 2010. A Canon EOS 1D Mark IV and an EF 300mm F/4 L IS lens and 2X extender and 580 flash was used for these 2 images.
The next 2 shots show a male Swamp Darner on the Angelina River, Jasper Co., Texas, in April, 2010. The Same photo gear as previously described was used for these images.
The next two shots of a female Swamp Darner were taken along the Little Pee Dee River, Horry Co., South Carolina, in May, 2012, with a Canon EOS 1D Mark IV and a Sigma 50-500mm lens and Canon 580 flash.