Green Darner, Anax junius

The green darner (Anax junius), also known as the common green darner, is a species of dragonfly that can be found in North America, with a range that extends south to Panama. It will migrate from northern areas to southern areas such as Mexico and Texas, but it can also be found in Asia, from China to Japan, and the Caribbean and Tahiti. It prefers to reside near slow rivers, ponds, and lakes, but can be seen away from water sources due to its large range.

Male green darners reach an average body length of three inches, with a wingspan of up to 3.1 inches and can vary in color. After breeding in the spring months, females lay their eggs, which develop during the summer months on aquatic plants. Once the eggs hatch, the nymphs will enter the water and feed on tadpoles, insects, and small fish, developing until the fall moths when they emerge as sub-adults. Adults feed on flying insects including moths, flies, ants, and mosquitoes.

The green darner holds a stable population and does not have any major threats. It appears in many protected areas in Canada, the United States and Mexico. Because of these factors, the green darner appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Least Concern.â€

Image Caption: Live adult female green darner dragonfly, Anax junius. Family Aeshnidae. Credit: Bruce Marlin/Wikipedia (CC BY 3.0)