Darners are a family of dragonflies whose members are quite large (some over three inches in length). Common Green Darners (Anax junius) are one of only two darners in the Northeast with an entirely green thorax (section between head and abdomen). Often you find them perching low in grasses and weeds. Males tend to fly along the shorelines of ponds, patrolling for females and keeping other males at bay.
After mating takes place, the males of some species of dragonflies disappear. In other species, the male stays nearby, guarding the female and fending off other males that might remove the initial suitor’s sperm and replace it with their own. Some species go to the extreme of remaining attached to each other while egg-laying takes place. Common Green Darners are the only species of darner that often lays in this manner – in tandem, with the male still clasping the female while she submerges her abdomen and lays her eggs in aquatic vegetation (pictured).
Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to http://www.naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com and click on the yellow “donate” button.