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  • Blue-Eyed Darner - (Rhionaeschna multicolor)

    Blue-Eyed Darner - (Rhionaeschna multicolor)

    The Blue-Eyed Darner is one of the earliest Darners to make an appearance in Spring west of the Rockies.


    Picture of Blue-Eyed Darner


    Staff Writer (11/21/2013): Thanks to their large size and beautiful blue eyes, the Blue-Eyed Darner is easy to spot and identify. The blue and black coloring on the abdomen ('tail') is difficult to miss. This species is the second type of Darner to make an appearance after winter in the western part of the continent. It is abundant and populations venture even further south than Mexico.

    Males exhibit some silver on their bodies. Both sexes can measure longer than 2"; width (including wingspans) is closer to 4". Wings are transparent. The abdomen have a multicolored pattern that repeats on each abdominal segment. Their jaws are large enough for a human to feel its pinch. While darners are disinterested in humans, if handled they may bite.

    Darners mate in flight. A males places a sperm packet on his abdomen and, once joined in flight, a female will pick it up off of him and use it to fertilize her eggs, which she has attached to vegetation near water. Females then place fertilized eggs in warm, slow moving waters like ponds, swamps, creeks and small streams. Once hatched, the naiads live in the water, feeding on small aquatic insects, tadpoles and even small fish if they are able to catch them. After a few years, once the naiad is fully grown, it crawls out of the water (usually at night) and sheds its 'skin' allowing the adult to emerge and fly away.

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    Details of the:
    Blue-Eyed Darner


    Category: Dragonfly or Damselfly
    Common name: Blue-Eyed Darner
    Scientific Name: Rhionaeschna multicolor
    Other Names: Blue Darner; Darner

    Taxonomy:
      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Odonata
          Family: Aeshnidae
           Genus: Rhionaeschna
            Species: multicolor





    Size (Adult, Length): 62mm to 70mm (2.44in to 2.76in)

    Identifying Colors: blue, brown, gray, black, purple, green, yellow; silver

    Additional Descriptors: flying, helpful, biting


    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alaska; Arizona;California; Colorado; Idaho; Montana; Nevada; New Mexico; Oregon; Texas; Utah; Washington; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Mexico


    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.