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springtime darner

springtime darner (Basiaeschna janata) [female] [male]
Photos © Mary Kay Rubey

Features and Behaviors

Adults of the springtime darner are about two to two and one-half inches long. There is a brown spot at the base of each wing. The male has brown eyes with a blue cast on a brown-yellow face. The stripes on the sides of the thorax are yellow or white with blue at the top. Blue spots are present on the abdomen. The female has brown eyes and a brown face. Females may be one of two forms with some having blue spots on the abdomen and others having green spots.

Males fly low over the water body near the shoreline, although both sexes can be seen feeding away from water. This species is active from daylight until darkness falls. Eggs are placed in upright and floating herbaceous plants. This species may be active from as early as March in the southern part of the state through August.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: common, native