Green Darner Dragonfly Spotting

Green Darner Dragonfly

by Amy on June 20, 2011

This weekend we finally had the kind of beautiful summer weather we’ve come to expect from the month of June in Southern Ontario. Saturday morning as I was lifting the watering can to one of the hanging baskets at the front of the house, I jumped, startled. Perched on one of the leaves of the potato vine there was the largest dragonfly I’ve ever seen up close. I ran for the camera and quickly took a few shots.

The dragonfly was beautiful, but it’s still just a large BUG, and if you know how I feel about June bugs, you might realize how brave I was to get this close to this dragonfly.

After a few searches online and in my copy of Lone Pine’s Garden Bugs of Ontario, I’ve determined that this is a Green Darner Dragonfly (Anax junius). According to Wikipedia, this species is one of the largest there is, with the males reaching 3 inches in length, with a similar wingspan. It has a very interesting eye-shaped spot on the back of its head, presumably to fend of predators. I think this specimen is a male.

Dragonflies are beneficial in the garden; they eat up smaller insects and flies, especially. Their lifecycle is short, at only a few weeks (Animal Diversity Web), so I let this guy stay to warm up as long as he wanted.

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