CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Phantom Darner Dragonfly (Triacanthagyna trifida)
New to my buggy lifelist.
Family Aeshnidae – Darners
Genus Tricanthagyna – Three-spined Darners
misspelled in several locations as (Tricanthagyna trifida)
Not often observed as it flies at dusk and dawn.
“Adults of T. trifida are found in woodland and forest. Breeds in swamps, probably both permanent and temporary, also in artificial ponds in woodland. Larvae found in water during rainy season, adults probably spend dry season in dense forest waiting for next rains. Probably only one generation/year.”
Diet: insects, aquatic larvae such as mosquitoes
From Entomological News Volume XXXIX, 1928 (https://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/2630450)
4. TRICANTHAGYNA TRIFIDA (Rambur). The addition of
this form to the list of Dragonflies captured by Gainesville
motorists was perhaps the most noteworthy of all those made.
Its twilight flying habits together with its swiftness and agility
have caused its appearance in collections to be necessarily rare.
However, the automobile has succeeded in overcoming both
of these obstacles to collection, and consequently T. trifida,
was well represented among the Dragonflies falling victim to
this peculiar collecting means. A male specimen was taken
still alive from a gutter beside a parked car, on October 21st.
A male and a female were found on one radiator on the
morning of October 24th. On December 10th three teneral
specimens were secured from a Nash. All during the fall this
species seemed to be quite common along toward early eve-
ning. One unlucky individual was observed in a theatre and
still another in Church. The collection of tenerals in Decem-
ber seems to indicate that their emerging period is in the fall,
an idea borne out by their increasing numbers during the fall
months. The first of the above listed specimens of this species
was very hard to distinguish from T. carlbbca, especially while
it was still alive.
Adult Key to the Odonate Families of Florida: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in632
Shown on Florida Native Plant GROUNDSEL TREE; SEA MYRTLE (Baccharis halimifolia)
Phantom Darner Dragonfly (Triacanthagyna trifida)