common green darner

(Anax junius)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

common green darner

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common

Flight/Season

Mid-April to mid-October

Habitat

Ponds, lakes, and slow streams with vegetation.

Size

2 to 3 long

 

Identification

This is a large, common dragonfly. It is 2 to 3 long, averaging 3 long.

There is a black spot enclosed by a medium to dark blue semi-circle that forms a “bull’s eye” spot in front of the eyes.

The eyes are medium brown, the color of milk chocolate, with a yellow rear (posterior) rim.

The thorax is bright green and is not striped.

The abdomen is thick compared to other darners. The male abdomen has a dark purple top (dorsal) stripe and wide, bright blue side (lateral) stripes. The lateral stripes change to green toward the rear. The base of S3, the long and narrow segment close to the thorax, is white. When in flight, the abdomen is carried straight. The female abdomen is similar but with grayish-green lateral stripes. In cool weather the lateral stripes of both sexes fade to the same color as the dorsal stripe. The second segment (S2) it the last segment to fade. Immature individuals of both sexes have brownish-red abdomens.

On the male the pair of appendages at the end of the abdomen (cerci) have a pointed spine at the outer corner.

The wingspan is up to 4. The wings are clear and have a small yellow area near the tip. The hindwing triangle and the forewing triangle are the same size.

 
Similar
Species

No similar species


Naiad Food

Tadpoles, small fish, mosquito larvae, fly larvae, mayfly larvae, and freshwater shrimp.

 
Adult Food

Midges, mosquitoes, caddis flies, flies, butterflies, moths, stoneflies, and mayflies.

 
Life Cycle

Juveniles in Canada and the northern Unites States flock together in the fall and migrate south, following the north shore of Lake Superior for part of their route. Radio tagging has shown that they fly as much as 87 miles in a day. American Kestrels (Falco sparverius) migrate at the same time using the same route, and may use the darner migration as a food source during their migration. There is also a resident population that overwinters as larvae. The migrant population reproduces in the southern United States and their offspring migrate north in the spring.

Eggs are deposited inside the stem of emergent vegetation below the waterline. This is the only darner that lays eggs while the male and female are still in tandem. The naiads take several years to mature. When they mature they crawl up an emergent plant and an adult emerges at night.

 
Behavior

Adults have an irregular territory which they patrol about three feet above the ground.

They perch vertically.


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 7, 16, 18, 24.

Comments

This is the most common darner in North America.


Taxonomy

Order:

Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)

 

Suborder:

Epiprocta

 

Infraorder:

Anisoptera (dragonflies)

 

Superfamily:

Aeshnoidea

 

Family:

Aeshnidae (darners)

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

common green darner


 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

cercus

One of a pair of small sensory appendages at the end of the abdomen of many insects and other arthropods. In Odonata, one of the upper pair of claspers. Plural: cerci.

 

 

 

 

 

       

Visitor Photos

   
Share your photo of this insect.

Stuart Ackman


seen by our neighbor. Beautiful creature.

  common green darner    

       
       
       
       

MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   

Female or juvenile

  common green darner    
       

Male on a cool morning or juvenile male; note the blue on S2.

  common green darner   common green darner
       
  common green darner    
       

Claspers

  common green darner    
       
       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
  Common Green Darner
DianesDigitals
 
  Common Green Darner  
 
About

Copyright DianesDigitals

 
     
  Common Green Darner (Anax junius)
Bill Keim
 
  Common Green Darner (Anax junius)  
     
  Anax junius (Green Darner)
Allen Chartier
 
  Anax junius (Green Darner)  
     
  Common Green Darner
Victor Fazio
 
  Common Green Darner  
     
  COMMON GREEN DARNER DRAGONFLY
Ed McAskill
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Sep 18, 2011

COMMON GREEN DARNER DRAGONFLY

 
     

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
Share your video of this insect.

     
     

Other Videos

 
  Common Green Darner Dragonfly (Aeshnidae: Anax junius) Female, Close-up
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Published on May 28, 2012

Photographed at Fisher, Minnesota (28 May 2012).

 
     
  Green Darner Dragonfly (Aeschnidae: Anax junius) Dorsal Close-up
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Aug 17, 2011

Photographed at Grand Forks, North Dakota (17 August 2011).

 
     
  Common Green Darner Dragonfly (Aeschnidae: Anax junius) Lateral View
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Aug 27, 2011

Photographed at the Grand Forks, North Dakota (24 August 2011).

 
     
  COMMON GREEN DARNERS MATING
Victor Trapp
 
   
 
About

Published on May 5, 2013

FOR WWW.MRTRAPP.ORG WEBSITE

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
Share your sighting of this insect.

Stuart Ackman
8/22/2017

Location: Orono, MN

seen by our neighbor. Beautiful creature.

common green darner


Chris Blowers
9/3/2015

Location: kanabec county

just saw your map had kanabec county white. but today I ran into one for the first time so you can fill kanabec in.

 
John Valo
9/5/2015

Common green darner has been recorded in all of the surrounding counties two counties deep. It is unlikely that the dragonfly is not found in Kanabec County. However, the map is created using only the sources listed and verified sightings. For a sighting to be verified it must include a photo sufficient to identify the species. Send us a photo of common green darner taken in Kanabec County and the county will be filled in on the map.


     
     
 

MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings

   

Agassiz Dunes SNA

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Baker Park Reserve

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