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Page last updated: 01/13/2017
A monotypic genus, Epiaeschna heros (Figure 1, above) is one of the largest of North America's dragonflies. These large brown larvae are encountered in ponds and lakes, often with much aquatic vegetation. Walker (1958) found nymphs in a shaded pond a few yards inside a wood lot in Ontario, whereas Williamson (1903) collected larvae in Tennessee from ditches and marshes associated with chimney-building crayfish. Morphologically similar to Nasiaeschna in regards to the mid-dorsal abdominal ridge, but differs from that monotypic genus in that the abdominal segments of E. heros lack mid-dorsal hooks. Adults emerge from June through early July, and may fly in large swarms. Larval records of this species are known only from the LP (Map 1), although adults - which are strong flyers - have been found in the UP. O'Brien (2014) was able to definitely state that the species breeds and overwinters as larvae in southern Michigan.
Fabricius, J. C. 1798. Supplementum entomologiae systematicae, pp. 283-285. Proft. (Schubothe), Hafniae.
Hagen, H. A. 1877. Synopsis of the Odonata of America. Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History 18:86.
O'Brien, Mark F. 2014. Epiaeschna heros (Swamp Darner) in Michigan - A Mystery No Longer. Argia 26(2):8-9
Walker, E. M. 1958. The Odonata of Canada and Alaska, Vol. 2. University of Toronto Press: Toronto. xii + 318.
Williamson, E. B. 1903. The dragonflies (Odonata) of Tennessee, with a few records for Virginia and Alabama. Entomological News 14:221-229.