Dragonfly Guide

Anax junius

(Drury, 1773)

Green darner

Common green darner

Anax junius
Anax junius, female, San Jose, Californa, USA, 2007
Photo: Eugene ZelenkoCreative Commons CCCreative Commons BYCreative Commons SA


The male has green eyes. Frons is green with black spot encircled by green, then an outer blue ring forming a "bull's eye" pattern. Thorax is green. Wings are clear or tinted in amber on older individuals, females more than males. Abdomen is colourful on the sides while being dark dorsally and ventrally. Males are blue and black where females often green and reddish brown.


Often seen feeding in large numbers over open areas.


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Distribution map. Data from gbif.org

This is one of the most common species in north American, where it migrates over great distances. It has managed to survive the passing over the Atlantic ocean at at least two occasions. In 1998 it was observed on the Isles of Scilly and in Cornwall, totalling 8 individuals, and in 2003 one individual was observed in Nantes, France.


Reproduction takes place in permanent or temporary waters, lakes, ponds and slow-flowing streams with emergent vegetation. In migration it can be found in many habitats.


  • Atlas of the European Dragonflies and Damselflies, Jean-Pierre Boudot(Editor), Vincent J Kalkman(Editor), Fons Peels(Illustrator)

  • Dragonflies and Damselflies of Europe: A scientific approach to the identification of European Odonata without capture, Galliani, C.; Scherini, R.; Piglia, A.

  • Field guide to the dragonflies of Britain and Europe, Klaas-Douwe B Dijkstra.