Wisconsin Odonata Survey title graphic Wisconsin Odonata Survey graphic Wisconsin Odonata Survey graphic Wisconsin Odonata Survey graphic Wisconsin Odonata Survey graphic

Gomphaeschna furcillata
Harlequin Darner

(Say, 1839)
Aeshnidae, Darner Family
"Most Wanted" Species
photo of Male harlequin darner
Male harlequin darner — Ryan Brady
There are two species in the genus of pygmy darners (Gomphaeschna), both of which occur in eastern North America, and one is infrequently found in Wisconsin. The genus is characterized by small size (for a darner), thorax heavily patterned with pale marks, and the male epiproct being forked (unique among darners).
Status-Global/State:
Global: G5 Wisconsin: SU
Distinguishing Characteristics:
The male is characterized by relatively small size, green eyes, irregular pale green thoracic markings, green and rusty orange (may look golden) abdominal markings, and a forked epiproct. The female is similarly but more lightly colored, and has short, narrow cerci.
Description of Habitat/Range:
Found throughout the eastern United States and southeastern Canada, this species inhabits shallow, wooded bog ponds (often with Sphagnum mosses) and alder or cedar swamps and ditches. Preferred habitats may be spring-fed. In Wisconsin, it is known from only a handful of sites in the northern and central counties.
Flight Season:
Late May to early July in northern part of its range.
(Click on photos to enlarge)
photo of Male harlequin darner
Male harlequin darner — Ryan Brady
photo of Male harlequin darner
Male harlequin darner — Jim Lind
photo of Male harlequin darner
Male harlequin darner — Dan Jackson
photo of Close-up of male harlequin darner thorax
Close-up of male harlequin darner thorax — Dan Jackson
photo of Side (top image) and top view of cercus for male harlequin darner
Side (top image) and top view of cercus for male harlequin darner — Dan Jackson
photo of Female harlequin darner
Female harlequin darner — Dan Jackson
photo of Female harlequin darner
Female harlequin darner — Dan Jackson
photo of Close-up of female harlequin darner thorax
Close-up of female harlequin darner thorax — Dan Jackson
This site is produced in conjunction with the Wisconsin Aquatic and Terrestrial Resources Inventory and sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The information presented on this site is subject to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' Legal Notices, Disclaimers, and Terms of Use.