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Blue-Eyed Darner (Rhionaeschna multicolor)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Blue-Eyed Darner.


 Updated: 3/15/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org



  Blue-Eyed Darner  
Picture of Blue-Eyed-Darner


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





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 one of a few Darners to make an appearance soon after winter in the western part of the continent. It is abundant in its habitat and range, and populations may venture even further south than Mexico.

Males have large chalky blue eyes that are the same color on their abdomen. They also have some silver gray on their bodies. Females do not have blue eyes and are yellow-green in the areas that are blue on males. Both sexes can measure longer than 5 cm (2 inches), but wingspan is closer to 10 cm (4 inches). Wings are transparent. The abdomen has a repetitive pattern of white small white triangles, red-brown circles and blue triangles on each segment. The tip of the abdomen forks. While darners are disinterested in humans, if handled they may bite. Their jaws are large enough for a human to feel a pinch if bitten.

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', molting into a winged adult, and flies away.
Basic Information
Common Name: Blue-Eyed Darner
Other Name(s): Blue Darner; Darner
Scientific Name: Rhionaeschna multicolor
Category: Dragonfly or Damselfly


General Identification
Size (Adult; Length): 62mm to 70mm (2.42in to 2.73in)
Colorwheel Graphic
Identifying Colors: blue, brown, gray, black, purple, green, yellow; silver
Additional Descriptors: flying, helpful, biting, long, eyes, tail




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




Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed below as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections below indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico


Territorial Area Map (Visual Reference Guide)
The map below showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Blue-Eyed Darner may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some species are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America.
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
State of Michigan graphic
State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


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