Skip to main content

Cyrano darner

Cyrano darner (Nasiaeschna pentacantha) [female] [male]
Photos © Mary Kay Rubey

Features and Behaviors

The male and female Cyrano darners have a similar color pattern. The eyes are blue. The face is green to blue-green at the top and green-yellow to yellow in front. The thorax is green with brown stripes, the upper ones jagged. The abdomen is mainly green in the middle with brown on the back and sides and green ventrally. Its body appears to be thicker overall than the body of other darners. The total body length is about two and one-third to two and three-fourths inches.

Adults of this species are active in June and July. Males fly at about three to six feet above the water's surface. The Cyrano darner may also fly in woodlands. The abdomen is usually seen as curving downward when this insect flies. Both males and females feed by catching insects and other small invertebrates from plants. They regularly eat other dragonflies. Their prey is taken to a perch and eaten. Eggs are deposited in wet logs or stumps in or near a water body. Nymphs eat insects and a variety of other small animals.

Illinois Range


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Odonata
Family: Aeshnidae

Illinois Status: common, native