Aeshna canadensis

Canada Darner

Aeshna canadensis, Canada Darner image


Family: Aeshnidae

Length: typically 68-74 mm


Species of Mosaic Darners (genus Aeshna) can be hard to tell apart from each other. One of the keys for identifying a Canada Darner is the front stripe on the sides of the thorax. The front edge of this stripe is deeply indented. Also, this stripe is considerably thicker at the bottom than at the top. At the very top of this stripe is a flag, a sort of perpendicular projection that points toward the rear of the dragonfly.


Aeshna canadensis in flight

Below this front stripe on the sides of the thorax there is typically a yellowish dot, placed closer to the front stripe than to the rear stripe.

The eyes are blue, blue-gray, or green. The abdomen is very dark with blue spotting on all the segments.

Females are much like the males, but instead of being blue the markings are green to green-yellow. Sometimes females have amber-tinted wings.


Aeshna canadensis image of face, Canada Darner

Above right: On the sides of the thorax, the front stripe is indented deeply on the front side. This stripe also has a flag (a projection at the top that points toward the rear of the dragonfly). Note, too, the presence of the yellowish spot between the thoraxs two lateral stripes.

Left: The prominent black lips help distinguish the Canada Darner from the very similar Green-Striped Darner (Aeshna verticalis).

Males patrol above the shoreline vegetation, keeping an eye out for females, also for rival males. Their patrol is usually at a height of about three feet, and they stop often to hover.

Insects of West Virginia