The Hairy Dragonfly – Brachytron pratense, is a tireless flier, and up close it’s very easy to see why it gets its name.
Mid-sized dragonfly, the smallest of Hawkers. Usually, the first dragonfly species to emerge each year. It is aptly named and has an obviously hairy thorax and abdomen. Not common in large numbers, single males can often be seen patrolling along bankside edges. Females are more elusive, shying away from the water until ready to breed.
The male from above has quite a dark appearance with the thorax and abdomen largely brown. Pairs of blue spots are present on each abdominal segment, one each side of the medial line, looking like irregular triangle or teardrop shapes. Yellow green antehumeral patches are prominent. The side of the thorax is mainly yellow green. The head is mainly yellow, with prominent blue eyes.
The female has a thicker and more robust abdomen, with yellow markings that are similar in pattern to the male, but rather smaller antehumeral patches. Eyes are chestnut brown.
In both sexes the wings are clear, with a long and thin pterostigma, and yellow costa. Appendages are especially long.
Overall length: 54 – 63 mm
Wings: 34 – 37 mm
The smallest Hawker dragonfly, usually the first to emerge and so not easily confused with other species.
Favours still water habitats, with lots of emergent vegetation, ponds and lakes.
Found throughout the county, but not in large numbers.
Reported at Felmersham NR, Priory CP, Bromham Lake NR, Marston Vale CP, Sandhouse Lane NR, and along the River Great Ouse especially at Roxton.
Visible between mid-April and late June – an early season dragonfly.
External links for Hairy Dragonfly – Brachytron pratense:
British Dragonfly Society | Wikipedia