springtime darner

(Basiaeschna janata)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

springtime darner

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common

Flight/Season

Mid-May to early July

Habitat

Slow streams and rivers in forested areas, ponds, and small lakes with little shoreline vegetation.

Size

2 to 2

   
 
Identification

The thorax is brown with two narrow, straight, pale yellow to white stripes. On young individuals there are two similar stripes on the upper (dorsal) surface, but these fade with age. The abdomen is brown with blue spots on males, blue or green spots on females. The blue spots may be gray during cool temperatures. The cerci on the female are narrow and as long as the 9th and 10th abdominal segments together. Males have paddle-type claspers. There is a small, opaque, brown spot at the base of each wing. The eyes are brown, often with some blue (see Comments below).

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Larval Food

 

 
Adult Food

Flying insects

 
Life Cycle

After the common green darner, which emerges in April, this is the earliest darner to emerge in the spring. No other darners emerge before mid-June.

 
Behavior

 

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 7, 17, 18, 29, 70, 72.

 
Comments

Blue Eyes? Really?
Two field guides, Dragonflies of the North Woods (2003) and Dragonflies through Binoculars: A Field Guide to Dragonflies of North America (2000), state that springtime darner has blue eyes. BugGuide.net states that the eyes are “generally blue.” All of the photos in both field guides and on the Websites BugGuide.net, Odonata Central, and Wisconsin Odonata Survey, show either brown eyes or mostly brown eyes with a small blue area. My photos show brown eyes. The eye color would best be described as “brown, often with some blue.”

 
Taxonomy

Order:

Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)

 

No Rank:

Anisoptera/Anisozygoptera group (dragonflies)

 

Suborder:

Epiprocta (dragonflies)

 

Suborder:

Anisoptera (true dragonflies)

 

Superfamily:

Aeshnoidea

 

Family:

Aeshnidae (darners)

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

springtime 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.

 

 

 

 

 

       
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  springtime darner   springtime darner
       
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Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Basiaeschna janata (Springtime Darner)
Allen Chartier
 
  Basiaeschna janata (Springtime Darner)  
     
  Spring Darner dragonfly
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
 
  Spring Darner dragonfly  

 

slideshow

       
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