Common Green Darner Anax junius

The most widespread darner in the US. This is the classic male with the stunning turquoise-dipped tail. These colors are visible as they cruise over lakes, ponds, wet ditches, yards and everywhere else. Often swarming, this species makes impressive migratory group movements in late summer and fall. They perch vertically most often (this male is unusual and he was not posed) up in trees or low in the grasses. They flush up in early morning sometimes when disturbed. Many times this is the first dragon in southern areas in the spring as they fly in from warmer climes.

Females lack the blue color and are muted reds and browns on the abdomen. (See Rose's shot below). This was a male feeding with a large group on my property that was taking flying ants from and ant dispersal. Thirty or forty males and females were feeding on the fine smoke of ants coming from the ground. I had this one pinned for a side shot and it escaped and stopped in this somewhat unnatural position. Normally they hang vertically.

Female face, showing the bullseye on the nose. Eyes are different color from the full colored male. And the abdomen below is kind of purpled-brown.

Fatality of the male variety. Very fresh since these colors bleed out quickly. Might even still have a beating heart. Oh, the cruel and dastardly world. I have no idea what kind of ants these are. But whichever one of them actually brought the dragon down -- wow. (Just kidding.)

Female from Missouri. Sometimes very skittish about cameras. They lack the lustrous turquoise of the males. Often perch low near trails and then fly up and zig-zag up and down the trails to land again.

Female that looks fresh from Bell in 2017. Very trusting for a perched female. They usually flutter up and zing around and land again somewhere else.  

Flying paired action. Well, temporary holding pattern anyway while the female in the rear touches down eggs.

Actual flying paired action. Near touchdown. Male again trying to find just the right perch and height for the female to probe eggs down into this shallow water. Many dragons prefer fishless ponds and pools for this as their juveniles can then be top predator and safer.