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Anax junius
Common Green Darner
Family: Aeshnidae
Species account author: Robert Cannings.
Extracted from Introducing the Dragonflies of British Columbia and the Yukon (2002)


© Ian Lane     (Photo ID #1176)


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Distribution of Anax junius in British Columbia.
(Click on the map to view a larger version.)
Source: (for the static map) RBCM and BCCDC 2004 ©

Species Information


One of our largest dragonflies, with a wingspan of almost 12 cm. The thorax is unmarked and green. Viewed from above, the forehead bears a black spot in a blue patch. The abdomen has a dark centre stripe; on immatures, the sides are reddish, but with age the male’s become blue and the female’s grey-green to violet. Length: ♂ ♀ 75 mm.

Flight Period

B.C., late April to early October.

Genus Description

Four species of this cosmopolitan genus live in North America, but only one reaches B.C. from the south.


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

Uncommon across southern B.C., but common in some coastal localities. Develops in warm marshes and ponds at low elevations. Southern Canada appears to have two populations — one seems to migrate north in the spring and lays eggs, their offspring developing rapidly and flying south in August and September; the other population is resident all year round, the adults taking flight in June and July.


Southern; also in parts of Asia and on Pacific islands. Southern B.C. to the Prince George region.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
NativeS4YellowNot Listed

BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.