Minnesota Dragonfly


Hagenius brevistylus

The Dragonhunter is the largest dragonfly found in Minnesota. It is black and yellow in color with a small head, thick thorax, long legs, long powerful wings, and a long, slightly clubbed, abdomen.

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Field Marks
  • Average adult size is from approximately 3.0 to 3.5 inches
  • Small head
  • Green eyes
  • Yellow face with fine black line across it.
  • First and second thoracic stripes mostly fused
  • Third and fourth thoracic stripes mostly fused
  • Long black legs with spines on the tibiae
  • Black abdomen with yellow spear shaped top spots to segment 7
  • Triangular top spot on segment 8 with segments 9 and 10 all black on top
  • Small club widest at segment 9

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Field Marks
  • Female coloration is similar to that of male
  • Yellow side spots on abdomen are larger on females than they are on males
  • Less clubbing on female than on male

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Natural History


Often found perched on vegetation on the shore with abdomen hanging down or flat on rocks or ground. Ambushes prey from perch. Prey consists of butterflies, including monarchs, wasps and hornets, Jewelwings, other dragonflies and other insects. Flies with abdomen hanging down in a "J" shape


Typically moderate to swift flowing rivers and streams. Also lakes, although less frequently.


Males patrol territory on shoreline looking for females. Females lay eggs alone by tapping the water with her abdomen to release eggs. Female's are wary during egg laying and will often rise up from the water to survey in between taps.

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.