Dragonfly species in Monmouthshire: Southern Migrant Hawker

Distribution map of Southern Migrant Hawker in Monmouthshire, March 2024
Distribution map of Southern Migrant Hawker in Monmouthshire, March 2024, produced using the DMAP for Windows software written by Alan Morton, www.dmap.co.uk

There are four records of Southern Migrant Hawker (Aeshna affinis) in Monmouthshire. The first two occurring in summer 2019, and the third and fourth occurring in August 2023. Three were males, but the first of the 2023 individuals was a female of the blue morph, which had not previously been recorded in Britain. The records are as follows:

1. A male at Green Pool, Llandegfedd reservoir, from 13 to 24 August 2019. An account by Gavin Vella, the finder can be read here.

2. A male at Goldcliff Lagoons on 1 September 2019. The finders’ account by Wendy and Pete Taylor and Steve Davies can be read here.

3. A blue-morph female at Goldcliff on 16 August 2023, found by Phil James.

4. A male at Uskmouth on 27 August 2023, found by Tom Chinnick.

Photographs of the first two individuals, from Llandegfedd (left) photographed by Gavin Vella, and Goldcliff (right) by Steve Davies.

Details of the 2023 individuals, with photos, can be found here.

Southern Migrant Hawker is widely distributed across much of Europe, reaching the north coast of France and the low countries, from where it has begun colonising southeastern England, and is now well-established in parts of Essex and Kent. It has been recorded widely elsewhere across southern England and now that it has reached us four times, further records are likely to follow.