Minnesota Dragonfly

Mottled Darner

Aeshna clepsydra

The Mottled Darner is a mosaic darner of the Great Lakes region and North Eastern United States. It is easily identified by the unique irregular pattern of its thoracic stripes. Usually found in boggy areas with open water or lakes with floating bog mats or other vegetation


Field Marks
  • Average adult size is approximately 2.7 inches
  • Pale blue eyes and face
  • Crossline on face
  • Broad T-spot on top of face
  • Unique thoracic pattern on the side
  • Front thoracic stripe shaped like a backward question mark. Rear stripe triangular with the point at the bottom
  • Uniquely shaped spots between thoracic stripes
  • The side of abdominal segment 1 is mostly blue
  • Abdomen brown-black with a series of white and purple spots on the top
  • Paddle style claspers

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Natural History


Males typically patrol the shorelines of wetland habitat during the afternoon. They usually fly low, close to the water and vegetation, often stopping to hover. Foraging usually occurs along streams and woodland clearings, often joining in swarms with other species in the evenings


Small lakes and ponds with an abundance of water lilies, often bordered by bogs


Females lay eggs alone in mud or aquatic vegetation.

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.