Green Darner Dragonfly


Green Darner Dragonfly

Green Darner Dragonfly

A green darner flies through the air in search of food. By Mike Ostrowski
Image Source

The Green Darner dragonfly is an insect that lives near water and can be found all over North America. Each spring, Green Darners leave the southern United States and Mexico and fly north for the summer. Each fall they return to their southern homes for the winter.

Although they are not able to hear, smell, or make sounds, dragonflies have excellent eyesight. Each of their large eyes has around 30,000 lenses that make it easy for them to see above, below, and all around them as they fly through the air. If a dragonfly spots a mosquito or other insect that looks tasty, the dragonfly may swoop out of the sky, snatch the insect, and gulp it down while it continues to fly.

Did you know that Green Darners start their lives without wings? They hatch from eggs and live as underwater bugs in ponds and streams for between 1 and 3 years. During this time they are called nymphs and they hunt and eat other underwater creatures.

When a green darner nymph is ready to metamorphose into a dragonfly it crawls out of the water, sheds its skin, pumps blood into its newly formed wings, and flies off as an air-breathing, insect-hunting dragonfly!

Additional Images:

Green Darner Dragonfly

This is a dragonfly nymph. It lives underwater and looks nothing like an adult dragonfly. By L. Shyamal
Image Source

Green Darner Dragonfly

This skin was left behind when a nymph metamorphosed into a flying adult dragonfly. By David Eickhoff
Image Source

Additional Links:


The above links plus:

Borror, Donald J. and Richard E. White. A Field Guide to Insects: America north of Mexico. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1970.

Mead, Kurt. Dragonflies of the North Woods. Duluth, MN: Kollath-Stensaas Publishing, 2003. Pp. 1-11.










4 thoughts on “Green Darner Dragonfly”

  1. This summer I saw two dragonfly nymphs. Wasn’t sure what the empty shell was or meant. I was thold it could be a locust, which I doubted at the time. Today, I found this site and now I know that what I saw was a dragonfly’s empty shell, what was left of the of the first step in the cycle of the dragonfly. I did see a few dragon flies in my garden. At the time I didn’t connect the dots. Today, I have connected the dots of the dragonfly’s life cycle. Don’t know what became of the particular insect shell that I discovered — two to be exact. Who knows the hidden inner life of the daily insects, creatures, birds, fowel ot other that are encountered? This site has enlightened for me the the life story, the myths and symbolisms of this beautiful flying insect. The computer in its many sites has definitely illucidated the “Dragonfly” for me!

  2. I live in Maui and we found a nicely preserved shall of an giant hawiian darner. The head was missing though. Can you explain if this was a molting process of some kind? The body is transparent which doesn’t seem as if ants have carved out the body. Mahalo!

    1. Wow, that is a great question. Unfortunately, we do not know the answer for sure, but if the “body is transparent” and there are is nothing inside the body,just a clear outer shell, then you may have found the molt left by a dragonfly?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.