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Ospreys are an indicator species. The health of their population has implications for the health our coastal ecosystems.

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New Jersey Endangered and Threatened Species Field Guide

Image of Spatterdock darner.Zoom+ Spatterdock darner. © Allen Barlow

Spatterdock darner

Rhionaeschna mutata

Species Group: Invertebrate

Conservation Status

State: Special Concern



Ranging in size from 2.5” -2.7” in length, this darner has a blue unmarked face with brilliant blue eyes. The thorax is brown with blue frontal and lateral stripes. The abdomen is predominately black marked with blue. The female is similar in appearance but don’t have as bright coloring.

Image of Range of the spatterdock darner in New Jersey.Zoom+ Range of the spatterdock darner in New Jersey.


The spatterdock darner prefers ponds and lakes that are fishless and contain abundant growth of spatterdock, also known as yellow pond lily. This species’ full range is from Vermont to Kentucky and west to Wisconsin. Only a few colonies have been reported in New Jersey in Essex, Morris, Somerset and Sussex Counties. Protection is in place for one of the larger colonies.


Adults feed on aerial insects that they capture in flight.


Emergence takes place around the last week in May into June. A few late records have been reported in the first week of July.


The spatterdock darner is uncommon in New Jersey and is considered a species of Special Concern in the state.

Text derived from the book, Field Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of New Jersey. 2009. By Allen E. Barlow, David M. Golden and Jim Bangma. Edited and updated by Larissa Smith in 2011.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Arthropoda
       Class: Insecta
          Order: Odonata
             Family: Aeshnidae
                Genus: Rhionaeschna
                   Species: R. mutata

Find Related Info: Invertebrates, Special concern

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