Wisconsin Odonata Survey


Boyeria vinosa  (Say, 1839)
Fawn Darner

Aeshnidae, Darner Family

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.


Global: G5     Wisconsin: S5    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

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.

Description of Habitat/Range:

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.

Flight Season:

Early June to late September in Wisconsin.

Shading illustrates monthly percentages of the total flight season records for the species. Each flight season record is a unique date/location/observer combination where one or more adult or an exuvia was recorded (excludes nymphs). The actual number of flight season records for each month is shown in parentheses.

Flight seasons begin earlier in the southern part of the state, often by a week or more. Also, flight charts may not be accurate for rare species because of few data available.
View user-submitted photos

(Click on photos to enlarge)
Photo of Male fawn darner
Male fawn darner. © Dan Jackson

Male fawn darner
Photo of Male fawn darner
Male fawn darner. © Dan Jackson

Male fawn darner
Photo of Teneral male fawn darner
Teneral male fawn darner. © Dan Jackson

Teneral male fawn darner

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