Harlequin Darner Gomphaeschna furcillata (Say, 1839)S3 (Watch list)  

Status:

Harlequin Darner (Gomphaeschna furcillata) is a small, early species of darner with colorful, intricately-mottled patterning. This dragonfly breeds in wooded swamps, or boggy wetlands, but may often be seen foraging away from the breeding habitat. Harlequin Darners have a strong inclination to perch on vertical surfaces like tree trunks, and will often land on observers. On windy days, they can sometimes be found foraging low in the leeward side of stands of trees (B. Coulter, pers. obs.) It is similar to its less-common relative, Taper-tailed Darner (Gomphaeschna antilope), and care should be taken to distinguish them. Harlequin Darner is fairly widespread, but generally uncommon in Maryland (Richard Orr's The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Maryland and the District of Columbia). It is ranked as S3 (watch list).

Description:

The cerci of Harlequin are set farther apart at the base, forming a horseshoe-shape from above, and they curve downwards in lateral view. Cerci of Taper-tailed male view dorsally are closer to parallel, and long. In lateral view, they appear straighter than Harlequin. There are also consistent wing venation differences visible in the hand (Paulson, 2011).

There are 46 records in the project database.

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A Harlequin Darner found in Wicomico Co., Maryland (5/11/2007). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

A Harlequin Darner in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (5/27/2014). Photo by Richard Orr. (MBP list)

A Harlequin Darner eating a Lancet Clubtail in Worcester Co., Maryland (5/19/2007). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

A Harlequin Darner in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (5/11/2015). Photo by Bonnie Ott. (MBP list)

A Harlequin Darner in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (5/11/2015). Photo by Bonnie Ott. (MBP list)

A Harlequin Darner in Charles Co., Maryland (4/12/2009). An early spring specialty. Photo by Richard Orr. (MBP list)

A Harlequin Darner in flight in Cape May Co., New Jersey (5/8/2008). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

A Harlequin Darner in flight in Cape May Co., New Jersey (5/8/2008). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

A Harlequin Darner in Prince George's Co., Maryland (5/7/2015). Photo by Mikey Lutmerding. (MBP list)

A Harlequin Darner in Worcester Co., Maryland (5/12/2018). Photo by Judy Gallagher. (MBP list)


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