Nasiaeschna Selys, 1900 (Aeshnidae)
Nasiaeschna pentacantha (Rambur, 1842) - Cyrano Darner

Notes - References
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Page last updated:01/13/2017

Notes on Nasiaeschna pentacantha in Michigan

A monotypic genus, Nasiaeschna pentacantha appears to be locally common and restricted to the LP in Michigan. Until 1997, the only record from Michigan was an adult from Ingham County that lacked locality and collector information (Michigan State University collection, in Kormondy 1958). However EB in February 1997 identified a larval specimen from Newaygo County collected by the UMMZ-Fish Division in 1926, which had been placed in unsorted storage. That represents the first definite record for a breeding population in the state. Since then, several new adult and larval records for the LP have been added (Map 1).

Map 1: County distribution of Nasiaeschna pentacantha in Michigan
Click on map to enlarge

Mature Nasieaschna larvae are large, mophologically distinctive aeshnids. They are heavily-built, a brown to blackish animal, with the head wide in front and posteriorly narrowed, and with low but distinctive tubercles behind each eye. Seen laterally, the head slopes ventrocaudad. Femora are flattened and, like the tibia, marked with two narrow whitish cross-bars. The abdomen has steep sloping sides and a distinctive mid-dorsal ridge adorned with prominent, blunt dorsal hooks.

Larvae appear to frequent edges of forested streams, widened stream sections forming lentic-like conditions, and sheltered lake bays with stream in-flows, where larvae cling to woody debris and leafy detrital substrates (Needham and Westfall 1955, Walker 1958). Based on records from Indiana (Montgomery 1947) and Canada (Walker 1958), emergence probably occurs in the second half of June.


Kormondy, E. J. 1958. A catalogue of the Odonata of Michigan. Miscellaneous Publications, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 104. 43pp.

Montgomery, B. E. 1947. The distribution and relative seasonal abundance of Indiana species of five families of dragonflies (Odonata: Calopterygidae, Petaluridae, Cordulegasteridae, Gomphidae and Aeshnidae). Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Sciences 56:163-169.

Needham, J. G. and M. J. Westfall, Jr. 1955. A Manual of the Dragonflies of North America (Anisoptera). University of California Press: Berkeley, California. 615 pp.

Rambur, M. P. 1842. Histoire naturelle des insectes. Névroptères. (Suites à Buffon). Roret: Paris. 534 pp.

Selys-Longchamps, M. E. de. 1900. [Description of Nasiaeschna]. In Odonaten aus Neu-Guinea. F. Förster. Termes, Füzetek 23:81-108.

Walker, E. M. 1958. The Odonata of Canada and Alaska, Vol. 2. University of Toronto Press: Toronto. xii + 318.