Common Green Darner Dragonfly

Common green darners (Anax junius) are large, strong flying dragonflies. Their average body size is three inches long. They have a long blue, swollen abdomen, green thorax, yellowish-green face and wings with yellow tinges on the upper edge.

Scientists believe that there are two separate groups of green darners. One breeds and winters over in Ohio. The other migrates south where they breed and die. It is their young that then migrate to Ohio in the spring. All dragonflies are fierce predators and the green darner is no different. Typical foods in their diet are insects and mosquito larvae. There is one unconfirmed report of a green darner catching and eating a small hummingbird!

Green darners are found throughout Ohio in habitats that have still water of ponds and streams. In late August and September, huge swarms of green darners, estimated between 500,000 and one million, have been recorded. If the swarm is flying in every direction, they are feeding on gnats and midges; if they are flying in a steady, constant direction, they are migrating. No one knows where this migration ends.

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