Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Smoky Shadowdragon

Neurocordulia molesta

Walsh, 1863

Dragonfly Page|Damselfly Page|Home Page

The Smoky Shadowdragon is a medium-sized brown species with smoky gray or brownish wings and olive green eyes. The wings have short rows of small dark dots at the base and along the leading edge. The male has a projection on the inside of the middle leg which differentiates it from any other dragonfly. The female looks much like the male. They fly over water during the last hour before darkness.

This southern and eastern species is rare in Nebraska, which is at the extreme western edge of its range. There are only three Nebraska records, two of which are larvae. Adults of the species are usually found only after sunset, feeding low over rivers. It is difficult to catch, feeding sites are difficult to locate, and few people collect after sunset. However, the third Nebraska record is an adult found by Rick Schmid in Fontenelle Forest (Sarpy Co.) hanging from the ceiling of an elevated walkway in the early morning. Presumably it had come to hunt insects attracted by lights on the building the night before.

Smoky Shadowdragon
Smoky Shadowdragon, Fontenelle Forest
Smoky Shadowdragon map

Green indicates accepted county record (specimen or photograph).
Yellow indicates sight record only.

Size: 45-53mm (1.8-2.1 in)

Habitat: large rivers

Great Plains Range: TX, OK, KS, NE, MO, IA

Flight season: June

Back to Top|Dragonfly Page|Damselfly Page|Home Page