Southern Hawker - Aeshna cyanea

Photos

A few Southern Hawker photos taken by myself, along with photos contributed by Rory Morrisey

  • Southern Hawker - Aeshna cyanea:  Male basking at Felmersham NR
    A mature male, basking in the sunshine at Felmersham NR.
    Southern Hawkers are tireless fliers, but do have to rest from time to time, but it can be a long wait!
  • Southern Hawker - Aeshna cyanea:  Male basking at Felmersham NR
    A mature male, basking in the sunshine at Felmersham NR.
    This macro photograph was taken using flash.
  • Southern Hawker - Aeshna cyanea:  Male at Felmersham NR
    This photo shows the intricacies of the veins in the wing very well
  • Southern Hawker - Aeshna cyanea:  Male at Felmersham NR
    Male in profile
  • Southern Hawker - Aeshna cyanea:  Male at Felmersham NR
    Male at Felmersham NR.
    Male basking in the late afternoon sun.
  • Southern Hawker - Aeshna cyanea:  Female at Marston Thrift
    Female, at Marston Thrift.
    Notice how the abdomen in the female is broader than the male.
  • Southern Hawker - Aeshna cyanea:  Female resting at Felmersham NR
    Female at Felmersham NR.
    The female's abdomen is thicker than the male, and the colours are less vivid.
  • Southern Hawker - Aeshna cyanea:  Female resting at Felmersham N
    Female at Felmersham NR.
    Southern Hawkers are tireless fliers, but they do rest for extended periods if you are lucky enough to find them.
  • Southern Hawker - Aeshna cyanea: Linslade Woods 04082007
    Immature male, Linslade Woods - Photograph kindly donated by Rory Morrisey
    On this particular male you can see that left hind wing is damaged, almost certainly during emergence.
  • Southern Hawker - Aeshna cyanea: Ovipositing Alwins Field 1 14092007
    Female ovipositing, Alwins Field - Photograph kindly donated by Rory Morrisey
  • Southern Hawker - Aeshna cyanea: Ovipositing Alwins Field 2 14092007
    Female ovipositing, Alwins Field - Photograph kindly donated by Rory Morrisey
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Main features

Classification:

Odonata        
Anisoptera     True dragonflies
  Aeshnidae   Hawkers

Large colourful dragonfly, with a prominent apple green thorax. The male has mostly green spots along the upper surface of abdomen, with blue spots on the side and the upper side of S8, 9 & 10.

The female is similar to the male, but with green spots rather than blue, and has a stouter abdomen.

Males and females both feature a prominent yellow triangle on S2. The male has striking eyes that are blue on top and yellow below, while the females are more subdued brown and yellow.

The female might be confused with female Migrant Hawker - Aeshna Mixta, but Southern Hawkers are rather bigger, and have more prominent antehumeral stripes

Usually seen alone, but is quite curious of people and will often hover close by to investigate.

Habitat

Prefers woodland pools, ponds and lakes with plenty of surrounding trees and hedges. Often seen late in the day away from water hawking along clearings in search of food. Also a common visitor to garden ponds.

Where to see

Widespread around the county, but not usually seen in large numbers. I've mostly encountered them in wooded areas at Felmersham NR and Marston Thrift.

Visible from mid June to October