The spotted darners (genus Boyeria) are mid-sized, cryptically brown-colored denizens of forested streams and the windswept rocky shores of large lakes. They typically fly low and late in the day. Wisconsin is known to be home to one species, but a second occurs in nearby areas of neighboring states and may also occur here.
This tawny brown darner has conspicuous yellow dots on the sides of the thorax and has small yellow spots on the abdomen. The wings are clear but have small brown spots at their bases. The overall appearance is superficially similar to the ocellated darner but the following marks will separate the two species: ocellated darner lacks small brown spots at the bases of the wings that fawn darner possesses, and the yellow spots along the sides of the abdomen characteristic of both species are smaller on fawn darner. Additionally, the base color of the abdomen of fawn darner is medium to tawny brown versus the grayish-brown tone characteristic of ocellated darner. Even in flight the absence of gray tones and lesser amount of yellow on the abdomen of fawn darner is noticeable. The genders are similar in appearance.
Common throughout the eastern half of the United States and parts of southeastern Canada, this species is usually found at shady forested streams and rivers, and sometimes large, clear, rocky lakes. It is one of the most common larger odonates on streams and rivers throughout Wisconsin.
Early June to late September in Wisconsin.