Skip to main content

lance-tipped darner

lance-tipped darner (Aeshna constricta) [male]
Photo © Mary Kay Rubey

Features and Behaviors

Adults of this species are about two and one-half to nearly three inches in total body length. There are notched stripes on the thorax. In males, the thoracic stripes are blue, green or yellow-green, and there is much blue coloration on the abdomen. The female's abdomen is similar in size and shape to that of the male. Females have two color forms: one is brightly colored with blue and very similar to the coloration of the male; and the other has the same pattern but is generally yellow-green with yellow wings. The cerci (pair of upper appendages at the tip of the abdomen in males; only appendages at the tip of the abdomen in females) are long and lance-shaped.

Males and females both fly along the shore of water bodies. Ponds that dry up each year are the mating habitat. Eggs are laid on stems and leaves of sturdy plants growing in or along the water and on moist soil. Adults rest on shrubs or other vegetation. They catch insects in flight and may eat their prey in flight. Nymphs eat insects and a variety of other small animals. Adults are active from July through October.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: common, native