If you are lucky enough to view these large, agile, and seemingly tireless fliers up close you can really appreciate their beauty. Darners have long abdomens painted with intricate patterns of pale spots of varying colors (usually blue or green but may also include white, yellow, or brown), a pair of broad, pale streaks on each side of their thorax, and eyes that meet for a long distance on the head. Like other dragonflies, they grab live insects out of the air to eat with astonishing accuracy: it is estimated that 95 percent of attempts are successful, making them one of nature’s most accomplished predators. Lake darners range throughout much of the northern states and Canadian provinces of North America. In Montana, they are largely found in western forested areas; preferring sparsely vegetated or woody lakes and ponds, as well as marshes, fens, bogs and slow-flowing streams.
Photo by Glenn Marangelo on 9/12/20 in Condon, MT