|Top side of tail
||Underside of tail
Details - ©Nicky Davis
1. August 7, 2009, Big Springs Hollow, South Fork of Provo Canyon, Utah County, Utah
GPS: N. 40.20.0585, W. 111.31.2668
Dennis Paulson and Alan Myrup identified this dragon as probably Paddle-tailed Darner. Here is the rational given by Dennis Paulson.
"I think Alan Myrup is right about the female darner being a Paddle-tailed. It's not Blue-eyed or California, because it doesn't have the right pattern of T-spot on top of the frons. In the two Rhionaeschna, there is a prominent light spot on either side of the black T-spot, then blending with the color of the rest of the frons. None of the Aeshna darners have that contrasting pair of spots. As Alan said, the bump under abdominal segment 1 that distinguishes Rhionaeschna is also not obvious, although I suppose it could be present. It's not California because of the date and the lack of dark edges to the lateral thoracic stripes. The two really similar ones are female Paddle-tailed and Variable, and that's where the problem lines. Both have a black line across the face and more or less straight thoracic stripes. The thoracic stripes are probably broad enough to indicate Paddle-tailed, and the cerci seem large and pointed, whereas those of Variable are a bit shorter and usually rounded. So I would go with Paddle-tailed, but this is a tough call. "