Green Darner Dragonfly
California Range Map Photo
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Adult Male & Female

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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia -- animal
Phylum: Arthropoda -- arthropods
Class: hexapoda -- insects


Pterygota -- iwinged insects
           Infraclass: Palaeoptera-- wing insects
Superorder: Odonatoptera -- ancient winged insects
    Order: Odonata -- Dragonflies and Damselflies
         Suborder: Anisoptera -- Dragonflies
Family: Aeshnidae -- Darners
Genus: Anax
Species: Anax junius
Description:   Diet:
Naiad-This is a very large naiad with a length of 1 3/4 to 1 7/8 inches (43 to 47 mm). It is long and slender like other Darner naiads. It is mottled green and brown.   Naiad-Naiads feed on a wide variety of aquatic insects, such as mosquito larvae, other aquatic fly larvae, mayfly larvae, and freshwater shrimp. They will also eat small fish and tadpoles.
Adult-Male: more solidly colored than Mosaic Darners; green eyes and yellow-green face; 'bullseye shaped mark top of face; solid green thorax; electric blue abdomen with wide dark stripe on top; wings can be clear or show yellowish tinge

Adult-Female: abdomen purplish brown with green; brown eyes; rarer form colored like male; all have brown eyes

Adult-The dragonfly will eat almost any soft-bodied flying insect including mosquitoes, flies, butterflies, moths, mayflies, and stoneflies.
very large, 63 - 84 mm, wingspan 92 - 103 mm
Range Information:   Habitat:
This species occurs in Canada from southern British Columbia east to Nova Scotia, and throughout the entire U.S. extending south into Mexico and Central America.   This dragonfly can be found near weedy ponds and lakes at low elevations.
U. S. Flight Season:   California Flight Period:
June - September   all months, migratory
Ecology:   Reproduction:
Like other Darners, the naiads are active predators, and are able to swim by jet propulsion - squirting water out from the ends of their abdomens. They can be very aggressive hunters, and because of their aggressiveness they are often exposed and fall prey to predatory fish. They generally take several years to mature, and typically emerge as adults at night. This behavior probably evolved to avoid being eaten be daytime predators. Adults generally fly from June through September, and do all of their hunting while on the wing. This species is perhaps the best known of the North American migrant dragonflies. The adults that appear in Idaho in June are fully mature, having emerged earlier in the spring from ponds and lakes far to the south. They lay eggs here, and the resulting generation of naiads emerges as adults in August and migrates to the south. Here, they eventually produce a generation that will fly north in the spring.

There was an incident on the East Coast during one fall migration, where a Ruby-throated hummingbird was taken down by a dragonfly, but the dragonfly was frightened off by a group of bird watchers who saw the incident. According to the description given by the birders, the dragonfly involved was probably this species.

  Males establish and continually defend territories along the shores of lakes and ponds. After males and females mate, females then fly singly, without the male attached, or in tandem with the male, to lay their eggs in the stems and leaves of aquatic plants.


  Sources :

G1     G2     G3     G4     G5

G5 - Populations are widespread, abundant, and secure.  

All photos 2008 Rick Swartzentrover - Free for non-profit use.

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Global ranks indicate the rarity of a species at a global scale. Species may be fairly common globally but imperiled locally. Global ranks have the following meaning:

  • G1 - Critically Imperiled - At very high risk of extinction due to extreme rarity (often 5 or fewer populations), very steep declines, or other factors.
  • G2 - Imperiled - At high risk of extinction due to very restricted range, very few populations (often 20 or fewer), steep declines, or other factors.
  • G3 - Vulnerable - At moderate risk of extinction due to a restricted range, relatively few populations (often 80 or fewer), recent and widespread declines, or other factors.
  • G4 - Apparently Secure - Uncommon but not rare; some cause for long-term concern due to declines or other factors.
  • G5 - Secure - Common; widespread and abundant.
  • * ? or Q = status unknown or uncertain