Darners (Aeshnidae)
Note: click on any thumbnail below to see a larger image
Shadow Darner (Aeshna umbrosa)

Rare to uncommon in Georgia, about 13 records above Fall Line. Flies in fall. Note blue highlights in abdomen, yellowish stripes on thorax. Males on left, females upper two on right. Thoracic stripes can be very pale, almost white, as in the female at middle right.

3 Aug- 27 Dec

Common Green Darner (Anax junius)

Much more common than Comet, and flies almost all year in Georgia. Males on left, females on right. Female and immature Green Darners have reddish abdomens, but they are never as red as in Comet and all have the "bullseye" mark on the forehead seen at lower left. Female Comet has duller red abdomen, but usually spotted. Immature male at middle left is just turning blue. Some females have blue near base of abdomen as at lower right. In flight large size, green thorax and blue abdomen of the male is unmistakable.           


28 Jan- 1 Jan (probably continuous in deep south)

Comet Darner (Anax longipes)

Difficult to find in Georgia, and very rarely seen perched. Female both lower images. A very distinctive dragonfly! Note red legs also. Does not have "bulls-eye" mark of Common Green on either sex.

27 Mar- 1 Nov

Springtime Darner (Basiaeschna janata)

As the name implies, only flies in spring, and only found in the northern half of Georgia. Found in about 18 counties so far. Looks like a small mosaic darner. All males except lower two and second from bottom on right, middle right is young and weakly-marked male

13 Mar- 25 May

Ocellated Darner (Boyeria grafiana)

3 records in northern GA. Not as brown as Fawn (below), smaller mark at base of wings and and more markings on abdomen. Compare thorax closeups also. Shots on left from Murray County 10 Sep 2004. The shot at upper right is from TN.

31 Jul- 27 Sep

Fawn Darner (Boyeria vinosa)

Very slender and mostly unmarked brown darner except for two yellow spots on thorax and smaller one at base of abdomen. Cruises slowly along banks, nosing into every nook and cranny. Perches in darker areas of forest. Fairly widespread, compare with much rarer Ocellated above. These shots are all males.

19 May- 4 Nov

  Blue-faced Darner (Coryphaeschna adnexa)

Not found in Georgia, only in south Florida. This shot is from Little Manatee River State Park in Hillsborough County on 19 Oct 2003. Similar to Regal Darner but note face color and very thin stripes on side of thorax.



Regal Darner (Coryphaeschna ingens)

Very long slender darner. Males (and immatures) have green eyes, unlike Swamp, and do not patrol. Thorax mostly green with brown stripes, opposite of Swamp. Adult females have blue eyes (all Early Co 23 Sep 2002). Much rarer than Swamp, only 10 Georgia records.

6 Apr- 23 Sep


Swamp Darner (Epiaeschna heros)

As long as Regal, but stockier and all with blue eyes. Thorax brown with green stripes. Note thick brown area in center of side of thorax has a tiny green mark at the top. Female at lower right is ovipositing into a wet log.

2 Mar- 2 Nov


Cyrano Darner (Nasiaeschna pentacantha)

Note unusual face shape. Note forward lateral stripe is shaped like lightning bolt or zig-zag, not straight like Swamp. Not as long as Swamp, and male makes very monotonous patrols over small areas. Can be tough to tell from Swamp on the wing, which is about the only way you will see one. 13 state records.

1 Apr- 30 Aug


Taper-tailed Darner (Gomphaeschna antilope)

16 state records. The shots on left are from Wilkes County 27 Apr 2003, the shots on right are of a female in Coffee County 21 Mar 2003, note amber color restricted to center of forewing at nodus and pattern of colors on abdomen (compare below). The comparison shot at lower left shows differences between Harlequin (above) and Taper-tailed (below) in head and thorax patterns and colors. That shot is from AL.

21 Mar- 15 May

Harlequin Darner (Gomphaeschna furcillata)

Rare but probably overlooked and early, 14 state records. The flying male (lower right)  was in Cobb County 31 Mar 2000. On the female (upper right and just below), compare with Taper-tailed above and note larger area of amber covering entire distal half of forewing and color pattern on abdomen. See also head and thorax comparison shot in Taper-tailed section above. Various males in rest of shots to indicate variation in eye color and pattern strength.

12 Mar- 18 May

Twilight Darner (Gynacantha nervosa)

4 state records. A large and very plain brown darner, most active at dusk but can sometimes be found in thick woods during the day. Middle right is from Decatur Co 14 Oct 12005 and lower right is from Charlton County on 4 Nov 2004.


2 Aug- 4 Nov

Phantom Darner (Triacanthagyna trifida)

About 9 county records, mostly in extreme southeast or along coast. Smaller than all the other late season darners, also flies mostly at dusk or on cloudy days. Males and older females have blue eyes and blue highlights near narrow "waist" and females have very long cerci (lower left), but the often break off as at lower right..




6 Oct- 14 Dec


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