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Lance-tipped Darner (Aeshna constricta)


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

 Updated: 8/23/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




A long and large dragonfly, the Lance-tipped Darner has blue (or green) spots and stripes all over its sleek body.



One of the Mosaic Darners, Lance-tipped Darners have a busier pattern on their abdomens than other types of darners. Seen from above, pairs of large blue spots alternate with pairs of small blue specks on each segment. From the side, an oblong blue spot appears to be split in two by the segment line. Two angled blue stripes sit on the sides of the thorax and two green stripes are visible behind the head. A short black pointy projection that resembles a lance, or spike, sticks out from between the claspers at the tip of the abdomen. Females are more brown and green or yellow.

This is a cold-climate darner that enjoys the cooler summers often typical in southern parts of provinces and northern states. They are almost always near a body or source of slow-moving water like a lake, lagoon, pond, or marsh. This aquatic habitat is essential for rearing young. Offspring are called naiads and they hatch from eggs laid underwater, and there they remain, feeding on small aquatic insects until it is time to molt into the winged adult form. At that point, the lobster-like naiads crawl out of the water and shed their juvenile exoskeletons.

Because the range for the Lance-tipped Darner is northern, they are more active later in the summer, after temperatures have properly warmed up. They may remain active until middle autumn when the temperatures begin to drop considerably.
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Odonata
        Family: Aeshinidae
          Genus: Aeshna
            Species: constricta
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Aeshna constricta
Category: Dragonfly or Damselfly
Size (Adult; Length): 45mm to 65mm (1.76in to 2.54in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black, blue, green
Descriptors: twin spots, double, specks, large, long, flying, blue-green, stripes
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
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
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Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
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Mexico
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 above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections 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.