E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Rhionaeschna multicolor
Blue-Eyed Darner
Family: Aeshnidae
Species account author: Robert Cannings.
Extracted from Introducing the Dragonflies of British Columbia and the Yukon (2002)

Photo of species

© May Kald  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #14575)

E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Rhionaeschna multicolor in British Columbia
Details about map content are available here.

Species Information


Thorax stripes straight. Its face line, if it has one, is thin and pale brown. Male’s face and eyes are sky-blue; the thorax stripes and abdomen spots are blue; upper appendages forked. Female’s thorax stripes and abdomen spots are either blue or yellow. Length: ♂ 69 mm, ♀ 67 mm.

Flight Period

B.C., mid May to mid October.

Genus Description

Neotropical Darners are similar to Aeshna species but have recently been placed in a separate genus. Both sexes have a tubercle on the underside of the first abdominal segment. The two species of Rhionaeschna in B.C. have the pale areas all blue in males; the lateral thoracic stripes are straight. Both species have southern and western affinities, unlike most of our darners, which are northern and transcontinental.


Family Description

Large, swift-flying dragonflies, usually marked with blue, green or yellow. Adults hunt tirelessly for insects over ponds, lakes and streams, and wander widely in search of prey. Most species rest in a vertical position, but a few sit flat on the ground. Females have a prominent ovipositor and lay eggs in water plants or floating wood above or below the water line. Larvae are slender and sleek, with flat labia lacking bristles; they are rapacious hunters among water plants. Recently, A. californica and A. multicolor have been transferred from Aeshna to Rhionaeschna.
Field Notes

Common around marshes and marshy lakeshores and ponds in southern valleys.


Western. In B.C., as far north as McBride, but widespread only south of about 51°N.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2021-10-18 1:47:32 AM]
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© E-Fauna BC 2021: An initiative of the Spatial Data Lab, Department of Geography, UBC