Minnesota Dragonfly

Subarctic Darner

Aeshna subarctica

The Subarctic Darner is a northern mosaic darner that is found in boreal regions around the world. Typically found in bog habitats, although usually considered rare throughout its range. Identified by its front thoracic strip which bends forward at the top instead of straight or bending back like other darners


Field Marks
  • Average adult size is approximately 2.8 inches
  • Eyes green and brown
  • Face greenish-yellow with a bold crossline
  • The base of the T-spot starts out narrow and widens as it gets closer to the eyes
  • Thoracic stripes are blue at the top and yellowish-green at the bottom
  • Front thoracic stripe has a rearward flag and bends forward at the top, towards the eyes
  • Thin line between the thoracic stripes and often one before the front stripe
  • Two pairs of abdominal spots on sections 3 through 8
  • Pale spots underneath middle of the abdomen
  • Paddle style claspers

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Field Marks
  • Females come in two color variations blue or green
  • The blue female form looks similar in color to the males
  • The females abdomen is stockier than the males
  • Cerci is longer than abdominal segments 9 and 10 combined

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Natural History


Patrolling males typically fly at about waist height above the water frequently stopping to hover. Patrol flights are more often over open water and less often along the shoreline. Will join in mixed species feeding swarms in the evening.


Bogs and fens with open shallow pools.


Males patrol open bog pools waiting for females. Females lay eggs in emergent vegetation below the surface of the water

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.