Thursday, 4 December 2014

Day 32 - Spectacular Southern Hawker Dragonflies

Hey guys Day 32 today and I have a piece of wildlife I haven't done anything about so far. Today I'll be reviewing dragonflies. They are amazing creatures and it's a shame I've not done anything on them so far. Today the species of dragonfly will be the Southern Hawker Dragonfly. I found this at Hickling Broads in Norfolk which is a lovely and fabulous nature reserve made by Norfolk Wildlife Trust. Here are the facts about the Hawker:

Southern Hawker
(Aeshna Cyanea)

  • The Southern Hawker is a very inquisitive dragonfly and usually comes quite close to anyone watching it. 
  • It's a large dragonfly which is around from the end of June through to September. 
  • As it's found commonly around ponds and lakes, you can sometimes,on rare occasions, see them just outside your front door. 
  • This dragonfly is found to bodies of water close to woodland. 
  • It can be seen patrolling a regular patch of water when hunting or 'hawking' through woodlands making seeing one once a good sign of seeing one again. 
  • Hawkers are the largest and fastest flying dragonflies. 
  • They catch their insect-prey mid-air or 'on the wing' and can hover or fly backwards. 
  • The southern hawker is mostly black in colour. The male has lime green spots all along the body with pale blue bands on the last three segments of the abdomen, blue-green eyes and large green patches on the thorax. 
    Dragonflies mating
  • The female is paler, with pale-green spots and brownish eyes. 
  • The southern hawker can be recognised by its lime green, rather than blue, spots along most of its body and the large pale patches on the thorax. 
  • Over 300 million years ago dragonflies with wing spans of three quarters of a metre flew in the sky above rivers and wetland. These things weren't mere dragonflies, they were dragons! Just kidding. they were the Southern Hawkers older relative. 
Dragonfly in flight
  • Today dragonflies and their smaller relatives damselflies, can be found around many fresh water habitats. 
  • In Britain there are about 44 species making each one relatively hard to wok out with some looking almost identical, although our Southern Hawker didn't take too much work :-). 
  • Most of Britain's dragon/damselflies are resident but some are migratory so when they are around make sure to find them! 
  • Adults live for approximately six weeks. 
  • Because different species emerge at different times it is possible to see dragonflies and damselfies from May through to December in mild years.
Here are some links to more information:

Hope you enjoyed,


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