Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Division of Entomology

Common Green Darner

Anax junius

Drury, 1773

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The Common Green Darner is our most visible and widespread darner, and is among the earliest dragonflies to show up in the spring. The male has an unstriped green thorax and a blue abdomen with a black stripe along the top. There is a black spot on the forehead enclosed by a blue semicircle which forms a 'bulls's eye'. The male patrols a territory over water, alternately flapping and gliding. The female has a green thorax and an abdomen which varies from reddish brown to gray. The wings may be tinted yellow. This is one of the few dragonfly species which is known to migrate.

This is a common transcontinental species. It is one of the earliest species to appear, as migrants from farther south, and the most widespread darner. It is expected in every county but is rarely common at any given site. It is a pond species, preferring small fish-free ponds for egglaying but likely to be seen circling almost any pond or lake low over the surface and a few feet out from shore.

Common Green Darner
Common Green Darner male
Common Green Darner map

Green indicates accepted county record (specimen or photograph).
Yellow indicates sight record only.


Size: 68-80 mm (2.7-3.1 in)

Habitat: almost any still waters

Great Plains Range: TX, OK, KS, NE, SD, ND, NM, CO, WY, MT, MO, IA, MN

Flight season: mid April to late September



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