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.