Dragonfly Female Blue-eyed Darner (Rhinoaeschna multicolor) (aka Aeshna multicolor)
(aka Common Blue Darner)
, The Cloisters Park, Morro Bay, CA, Sept. 13, 2005


Dragonfly -
 Female Blue-eyed Darner (Rhinoaeschna multicolor) (aka Aeshna multicolor) (aka Common Blue Darner) 
Flight period: March - November.  Read much more information about this species.  Distribution: very common throughout CA - see map.
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( special high-res version 2920 x 2336 version, with "Photoshop blurred background," for best 1.25:1 16"x20" printing 2.93 MB)

Identification notes... Many thanks to the experts below!

Tim Manolis says "This is a very nice picture of a female Blue-eyed Darner (Aeshna multicolor), probably the most common and widespread Aeshna in California, at least west of the Cascade/Sierra crest (though it is also common in the mountains and on the East Slope).  The shape of the cerci and lack of blue on the face, eyes, etc., tell you it is a female and the shape of the "T-spot" atop the frons identify the species.  In addition, A. multicolor is common in September whereas A. californica is virtually unknown at that season.  Aeshna mixta is not even found anywhere in North America, let alone in California.  Other Aeshna that might be found in San Luis Obispo County are Aeshna walkeri, Aeshna umbrosa perhaps, and, unlikely but not entirely impossible, Aeshna palmata and Aeshna interrupta (the latter two species could occur in the mountains)." Kathy Biggs introduced me to Tim.

Kathy Biggs has an excel chart (version provided to me on 1-25-06 is copied here with permission) with the species known from this area
If you don't own Microsoft Excel, you can still view this file - just
Download  the free Microsoft Excel Viewer 2003.
Be sure to contact Kathy Biggs for the latest version - see also http://www.sonic.net/dragonfly/ and http://southwestdragonflies.net/ for sightings and statistics... these people seem to be the experts in this field.

Kathy's link to this page.

My earlier incorrect tentative identification was:  California Darner? Rhinoaeschna californica  (Is the above a male or a female?)
1st guess: http://www.sonic.net/~bigsnest/Pond/dragons/darners.html describes the California Darner
Rhinoaeschna aka Aeshna californica 
California distribution map  flight period: early, February - August; very early flight date can be diagnostic.
Backup guess:  Aeshna mixta
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeshna_mixta says The Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta) is with its length of 63 mm one of the smaller species of hawker dragonflies. The species prefers still or slow-flowing water and can tolerate brackish sites. The flight period is from July to the end of October.  Is this is a confirming identification photo ?. (Is the Migrant Hawker even found in Central California??)
Help requested from http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CalOdes/
Is this a California Darner (Male. Female?)   I said
if you can identify this specimen please send an e-mail to Mike Baird  mike  at  mikebaird.com

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