This male dragonfly appears to be freshly emerged and has not taken on its “final” colors. The blue-grey colors will become a bright blue, as will the eyes, as the exoskeleton continues to dry / harden. Darners include our largest dragonflies and spend most of their time flying. California darners prefer habitats like lakes, ponds, marshes and stream pools with edge vegetation, including many with alkaline water conditions. Adults will eat almost any soft-bodied flying insect including mosquitoes, flies, small moths, mayflies, and flying ants or termites. Despite their name, they are widespread in western North America, as far east as South Dakota.
Photo by Lisa May on 5/16/20 in Missoula, MT