Hero Swamp Darner?
Hello! My name is Sarah-Ellen Leonard and I’ve been checking your site daily for about 6 months now. The volume of information is impressive, as is your ability to give feedback so rapidly. You have helped me with mealybug infestations and calmed my fears about cicada killers. I haven’t had anything to send in until now: a hero swamp darner, if I have read your site correctly. My coworker here at the University of Illinois found him/her on the sidewalk this morning. He/she is almost exactly 3″ long (sorry for the lack of size reference in the photo!) and occasionally twitches in a feeble fashion. I’m afraid this lovely creature may well be a goner. I just thought a nice image of those lovely eyes would be a worthy addition to your site. Thanks for everything!
Thank you for your kind words of support. We believe you have correctly identified this Swamp Darner, Epiaeschna heros. There are many images on BugGuide to support this identification. While it is sad your specimen will soon expire, at least you got a wonderful photograph of a magnificent insect.
It’s Edible: Sky Prawn
(05/01/2008) Edibility update: dragonflies
Happy May Day. Gorgeous photo of that swamp darner. Not so long ago dragonflies were a popular food in Indonesia, where they’re known as ‘sky prawn.’ They’re eaten in both nymph and adult forms, but the former must be cooked because it may be a transitory host of a liver fluke. In old Japanese folklore dragonflies are the steeds of dead spirits.