Washington State Insect
Green Darner Dragonfly (common name)
Anax junius (scientific name)
The green darner is one of the world’s largest and fastest flying dragonflies, achieving speeds of 25 to 50 mph (40–85 kph). It resembles a darning needle and is also known as the mosquito hawk or "the Lord of June." It is easily recognized by its silvery iridescent wings, bulbous compound eyes, and emerald green thorax with a stripe of deep red running down the middle of its blue abdomen. This dragonfly is found throughout Washington State and became the state’s official insect in 1997. It is considered a beneficial contributor to the ecosystem as it consumes a large number of insect pests.
Wingspan: 4–6 in (10–15.2 cm)
Male: 2.7–2.9 in (70–76 mm)
Female: 2.6–3.1 in (68–80 mm)
Larvae (Naiads): 2 in (5 cm) length; dark greenish brown
The insect’s lifespan ranges from six months to over seven years, most of it is spent in the nymph stage. The adult lives for only a few weeks.
Land adjacent to permanent and temporary bodies of water including lakes, bays, estuaries, and slow-moving streams.
Range: Common throughout North America with a southern range extending to Panama and the West Indies. It is also present in Tahiti, Japan, and mainland China.
Flight period: March–November
Conservation status: Least concern
Adults are strong fliers that move fast in a straight line with double-backs that make them appear to go "back and forth." Wings move in synchronization. Males establish and continually defend territories along the shores of lakes and ponds. After mating, females fly singly, without the male attached, or in tandem with the male, to lay their eggs in the stems and leaves of aquatic plants. Dragonflies generally take many years to mature and typically emerge as an adult at night.
Adults: Insects including bees, butterflies, mosquitoes, and moths.
Larvae: Aquatic insects, fish eggs, and tadpoles
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|Author: World Trade Press|