The 11 species of Aeshna in Alberta exemplify the aerial supremacy that dragonflies are known for. These fast and powerful fliers are all large and may be up to 76 mm (3 in.) long. They are usually dark with a beautiful mosaic pattern of green, blue and yellow markings on the abdomen. The large all-seeing eyes touch each other at the top of the head. The dark wing spots are narrow and elongate.
These aerial predators are most commonly associated with still water that has lots of emergent vegetation, but are sometimes found cruising far from water. They may be found from June through to the killing frosts of fall.
It can be difficult to tell the darners apart. The habitat and the shape of the pair of stripes on the sides of the thorax sometimes helps. Obviously, distinguishing the darners requires catching them which is quite a skill.
The Variable Darner is the one most commonly observed in the Province. In forested areas of the Province, look for
The Lake Darner and Shadow Darner. In the mountains you might find the Rush Darner or the Paddle-tailed Darner. In the southern part of Alberta you might spot the Canada Darner and the Lance-tipped Darner, and in extreme southern Alberta you can find the Blue-eyed Darner.
Other Aeshna species that have rarely been reported in Alberta are boreal or mountain species. They include the Azure Darner the Zigzag Darner, the Subarctic Darner and the Black-tipped Darner.
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Where to find Aeshnid Darners in Alberta
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Aeshnid Darners Behaviour
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Interesting Facts about Aeshnid Darners
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Recent Aeshnid Darners Reports in Alberta
JJ Colette Natural Area
Aeshnid Darners Hotspots in Alberta
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