Minnesota Dragonfly

Royal River Cruiser

Macromia taeniolata

The Royal River Cruiser is the largest Cruiser species in North America and one of the largest dragonflies found in Minnesota. It is long, dark and slender, with metallic green eyes, a single yellow thoracic side stripe, small yellow abdominal, no clubbing in the abdomen and long wings

Identification

Field Marks
  • Average adult size is approximately from 3.0 to 3.6 inches
  • Brown face with a broad pale crossline
  • Brown frowns with pale spots on top
  • Metallic green eyes
  • Metallic green and brown thorax with one yellow side stripe in the middle
  • Yellow ring around abdominal segment 2
  • Long black legs
  • Thin dark abdomen with a pair of small pale spots on segments 3 to 8
  • No top spots on segments 9 and 10
  • Dark terminal appendages

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Natural History

Behavior

Males make long patrol flights along the shore or out over the open water usually traveling almost the same path. Royal River Cruisers can be found hanging vertically in trees near the water. They can also sometimes be found joining with other species of dragonflies in feeding swarms, particularly later in the day

Habitat

Large rivers, streams, and lakes. Often found in slower moving bodies of water than other Cruisers. In Minnesota they have only been found around the Mississippi River in the southeast corner of the state

Reproduction

Mating occurs in the tree tops. Egg laying usually happens in the afternoon and can be done by tapping the water's surface during quick flights or may be done more leisurely, spending up to a couple of minutes in a small area.

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.