Southern Hawker

Aeshna cyanea

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Description

Length: 70mm

Flight Period: June to October (sometimes individuals in May and November)

A large, inquisitive Hawker usually seen individually. It may fly quite close to investigate observers. The spots on segments S8-10 are joined, unlike other Hawkers. The ante-humeral stripes are broad and strongly coloured. The costa is dark and there is an elongated triangular mark on S2.

Male: brightly maked on a dark background, usually apple green except for S8-10, which are pale blue. Occasionally, all pale blue marked individuals are seen.

Female: brown with bright geen markings.

Habitat

Breeds in water line vegetation in well-vegetated, small ponds, often in garden ponds. Hunts well away from water and may be found hawking woodland rides well into the evening.

Status & Distribution

Very common in southern and central England and Wales, more local elsewhere (vagrant only to Ireland).

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Similar species

Similar in appearence to other Hawkers but the bands on S9 and S10 and the broad ante-humerals are distinctive.