Anax junius

Common Green Darner is a common and conspicuous dragonfly throughout Monterey County. Males constantly patrol over lakes, ponds, rivers or streams, looking for females. They are almost always in flight but are still easily recognized by the green thorax and sky-blue abdomen.

photo (above) 19 Sep 2006 Laguna Grande
photo (below) 28 Sep 2006 Carmel River mouth
This species is colloquially known as the "Lord of June." Perhaps this is an English rendition of its latin name but it is a fine moniker, for it is a common ode of hot summer days. When the male does spot a female, there is often a wild chase and, if he catches her, a quiet interlude . . .
Later, he leads her to a suitable watery spot for ovipositing (below). I was actually surprised at the number of ovipositing pairs we encountered in MTY during our first summer of ode-watching.
photo (above) 31 Aug 2006 Laguna Grande
photo (below) 23 July 2006 Salinas wastewater ponds

This close-up focuses on the female in an ovipositing pair. Her color pattern is like a muted version of the male.

It is rare to find a perched Common Green Darner but I found that near the end of the season, I would encounter perched males more often. Perhaps they were just getting worn out? A number of these had nicks and cuts in their wings, but this male (below) was still in pretty good shape.
photo (above) 20 Sep 2006 Laguna Grande

Common Green Darner is a common and widespread species across North America; vagrants have reached Asia, Europe, and south Pacific islands. It is also widespread in MTY; the map shows some representative sites at which it has been recorded. There are specimens from Hastings NHR going back to Aug 1938, and from Carmel back to Aug 1940. Locales range from lowland ponds and rivers to streams in the Santa Lucia foothills. It likely occurs within habitat throughout the county.

Flight dates in MTY range from 14 May to 3 Dec, with a decided peak from July through October. Elsewhere in California, this darner has been recorded in every month.

Literature cited:
  • Manolis, T. 2003. Dragonflies and Damselflies of California. Univ. of Calif. Press, Berkeley.
Web resources:
Major identification web sites with much information on California odes include: For sites with excellent photos to compare for identification or to simply enjoy, see:

Many of these sites have links to other useful pages. Kathy Biggs's site is particularly useful in her selection of links.

All photos © Don Roberson 2007


Page created 7 Mar 2006