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The Secret Lives of Wild
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The Secret Lives of Wild Animals — Text-only | Flash Special Report
Dragonfly

Quick Facts
GREEN DARNER DRAGONFLY
(Anax junius)

SIZE
The Green Darner is one of the largest dragonflies; it is about 3 inches long, has a wingspan of 4 inches and weighs approximately 0.04 ounces.

HABITAT and RANGE
Green Darners are found throughout North and South America, the West Indies and Asia.

DIET
Green Darner nymphs (the larval stage that lives in the water) feed primarily on aquatic insects, fish eggs and tadpoles. Adults eat insects including bees, butterflies, mosquitoes and moths.

CHARACTERISTICS
Green Darner dragonflies are nicknamed darning needles, mosquito hawks or Lords of June.

Green Darner nymphs hatch near ponds from eggs laid in rotting wood or aquatic plants. The nymphs can take up to 4 years to reach maturity and then survive only 4 to 7 weeks as adults.

Enabled by their excellent flight capabilities and nearly 360-degree eyesight, dragonflies easily capture and kill prey larger than themselves. The Green Darner can fly at speeds exceeding 50 miles per hour.

Green Darners are migratory. In the Northern Hemisphere, they move north from March to June and south from August to November.

Images:
Scientists can now track the movements of individual insects, including green darner dragonflies, with the help of tiny locating beacons.
Credit:
Nicolle Rager Fuller, National Science Foundation