New York Natural Heritage Program
Spatterdock Darner
Rhionaeschna mutata (Hagen, 1861)

Habitat [-]
The habitat of this pond/lake species has been described as "fishless ponds, usually with water lilies" (Dunkle 2000) or "vegetated ponds and pools, open marshes and bogs, often with spatterdock" (Nikula et al. 2003). Most New York locations are small ponds with abundant vegetation, including spatterdock. One New York location is better described as a bog, the Long Island location (which may not be the breeding habitat) is a coastal plain pond, and spatterdock is almost entirely absent at another location. There is a lack of information on whether New York sites for this species are fishless or not (New York Natural Program 2006).

Associated Ecological Communities [-]
  • Coastal plain pond*
    The aquatic community of the permanently flooded portion of a coastal plain pond with seasonally, and annually fluctuating water levels. These are shallow, groundwater-fed ponds that occur in kettle-holes or shallow depressions in the outwash plains south of the terminal moraines of Long Island, and New England. A series of coastal plain ponds are often hydrologically connected, either by groundwater, or sometimes by surface flow in a small coastal plain stream.

    * probable association but not confirmed
  • Eutrophic pond*
    The aquatic community of a small, shallow, nutrient-rich pond. The water is usually green with algae, and the bottom is mucky. Eutrophic ponds are too shallow to remain stratified throughout the summer; they are winter-stratified, monomictic ponds.

    * probable association but not confirmed
  • Oligotrophic dimictic lake
    The aquatic community of a nutrient-poor lake that typically occurs in a deep, steeply-banked basin. These lakes are dimictic: they have two periods of mixing or turnover (spring and fall), they are thermally stratified in the summer, and they freeze over and become inversely stratified in the winter.
  • Oligotrophic pond
    The aquatic community of a small, shallow, nutrient-poor pond. The water is very clear, and the bottom is usually sandy or rocky.

Associated Species [-]
  • Mottled Darner (Aeshna clepsydra)