Minnesota Dragonfly

Springtime Darner

Basiaeschna janata

The Springtime Darner is easily recognizable by its size and flight season. At a size of 1.9 to 2.6 it is smaller than most other species of darners. Other species that are similar in size have a later flight season, with the Springtime Darner typically flying from mid May until the first week of July


Field Marks
  • Average adult size is approximately from 1.9 to 2.6 inches
  • Brown eyes with a blue tint
  • Pale yellow face with no cross line
  • Faint green stripes on the front of the thorax
  • Small dark brown spots at base of each wing
  • Brown thorax with 2 thoracic stripes. Stripes are yellow to cream color with blue-green at the top and are outlined by dark brown to black patches
  • Abdomen brown with blue, primarily triangular, spots
  • Dark wedge style claspers that are hairy. Cerci over twice as long as triangular epiproct

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Field Marks
  • Similar in color to the male
  • Face more tan than yellow
  • Abdominal spots can be green or blue
  • Functional ovipositor
  • Narrow cerci is approximately equal in length to segments 9 and 10

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Natural History


Low flyer, males patrol streams, rivers and lake shores, often hunting into dark. Can also be found hunting woodland clearings. They will often prey on damselflies and dragonflies that are smaller than they are.


Wooded streams and rivers with moderate current, as well as some clear lakes and ponds


Females lay eggs in submerged vegetation and dead leaves, often alternating back and forth in a zigzag pattern creating two lines of eggs

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.