Common Green Darner
This large, high flying dragonfly is common around the ponds at the BFEC from April through September. It can often be seen swooping down to chase other dragonflies and it feeds voraciously on mosquitos and larger insects. It has even been reported to attack hummingbirds. It is a strong flyer and is known to migrate however little is known about its migratory pattern. The male pictured on the left has clear wings, a light green head and darker green thorax. The abdomen is blue with a mid-dorsal black stripe. At the end of the abdomen are cerci, appendages used to hold females when flying in tandem. Females are similar, but usually have a green abdomen with a brown mid-dorsal stripe.
Sometimes you can see males and females flying in tandem above the surface of the ponds. When flying in tandem, the male holds the female behind the head. Egg laying is usually done in tandem with the male helping to support the female by holding onto emergent vegetation. The female deposits eggs underwater in the stems of floating plants or deposits them in the mud near the shore. In the photo above, note the position of the female's abdomen, below the surface of the water and along the edge of the stem.
|Isolated females may also deposit eggs. The dragonfly on the left is in the position assumed when laying eggs.
She is probably depositing eggs in the floating stem on which she is perched. She is unusual in that she has a
blue tinged abdomen. This is rare.
When hiking at the BFEC look for large swarms of Green Darners foraging above the prairie and along the hillside trails. It is a spectacular site.