Minnesota Dragonfly

Fawn Darner

Boyeria vinosa

The Fawn Darner a mostly colorless spotted darner typically found around streams. They are primarily tan or brown with two yellow spots on each side of their thorax. They may have faint yellow spots on the top of the abdomen


Field Marks
  • Average adult size is approximately 2.6 inches
  • Eyes brown with a green or blue tinge
  • Face tan with no front facial markings
  • Thorax brown with two bold yellow oval shaped spots surrounded by darker brown patches
  • Wings become amber tinged as they mature with dark brown patches at the base of the wings
  • Abdomen brown wih faint yellow spots or no spots at all
  • Long dark cerci, pale epiproct with dark tip
  • Females look the same except with brown eyes, a stockier abdomen and thin pointed cerci that are longer than segment 10

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Field Marks
  • Female is colored similarly to the male
  • Eyes brown and tan
  • Abdomen stockier than that of the males
  • Amber tinged wings with amber stigma and dark patches at the base
  • Thin dark terminal appendages that are longer than segment 10

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Similar Species

  • Ocellated Darner
  • The Fawn Darner is more of a tannish brown hue while the Ocellated Darner is more of a grey brown
  • The spots on the thorax of the Fawn Darner are thicker and more rounded where the dots on the Ocellated Darner are thinner and more of an oval shape
  • The Fawn Darner has small black patches at the base of the wings where the Ocellated Darner has little to no black at the base of the wings
  • The Fawn Darner has only spots on top of the abdomen while the Ocellated Darner has yellow triangles in between pairs of yellow top spots on top of the abdomen
  • The Fawn Darner has a pale epiproct while the Ocellated Darner has a dark epiproct
  • Click on the photo to see side by side comparisons

Natural History


Male can often be found patrolling streams typically flying just above the water, weaving in and out along the bank. More active in late afternoon and evening often flying after it is too dark to see. During the day they often perch vertically in a secluded, shady spot


Streams and small rivers usually with some current


Mating typically occurs in the trees and can occur after dark. Female usually lays eggs in wet wood that is either floating on the surface of the water or partially submerged

Range Maps

Click on the icons above for this species' range maps

Click here for county and state checklists from Odonata Central.

Range maps and checklists courtesy of Odonata Central. Copyright © 2016 OdonataCentral. All Rights Reserved. Abbott, J.C. 2006-2018. OdonataCentral: An online resource for the distribution and identification of Odonata. Available at www.odonatacentral.org.