Southern Hawker (Aeshna cyanea)
Species
Male Southern Hawker. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon on August 29th 2011. Approx 2x lifesize.
Male. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon on August 29th 2011. Click image for larger version.
(1/160th sec at f14. Approx 1.1x life size)
Side view of male Southern Hawker. Taken at Radley Lakes, Oxon. Approx 2.2x lifesize.
Male side view. Taken at Radley Lakes, Oxon., on October 12th 2013. CLick image for larger version.
(1/160th sec at f13. Approx 1.2x lifesize.)
Immature male Southern Hawker. Taken at Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon, on August 12th 2011. Approx 2x lifesize.
Immature male. Taken at Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon, on August 12th 2011. Click image for larger version.
(1/80th sec at f13. Approx 1.1x life size)

Male in flight. Taken at Bernwood Forest, Bucks on July 24th 2010.
(1/320th sec at f5.6. Approx 1.25x life size)
Female Southern Hawker. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon on September 7th 2015. Approx 2x lifesize.
Female. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon on September 7th 2015. Click image for larger version.
(1/500th sec at f14. Approx 1.1x life size)
Female Southern Hawker. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon on September 7th 2015. Approx 2x lifesize.
Female side view. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon on September 7th 2015. Click image for larger version.
(1/500th sec at f14. Approx 1.1x life size)

© David Hastings

Description

Wingspan: 86 - 106 mm; Body length: 67 - 76 mm
 
A large, inquisitive Hawker usually seen individually. The spots on segments 8-10 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. The male has a pronounced 'waist' between S3 and S4, which is missing in the female. The male is brightly marked on a dark background, usually apple green except for S8-10, which are pale blue. Occasionally, all pale blue marked individuals are seen. The female is brown with bright green markings. Immatures of both sexes are brown with pale yellow markings, and brown eyes.
 
It is commonest south of a line between the Humber and Ribble estuaries, but has recently been spreading north into Scotland. It is absent from Ireland.
 
Its breeding habitat is well-vegetated neutral or alkaline standing waters, sometimes shaded by trees. Unlilke other dragonflies it can tolerate small stangant ponds.
 
Eggs are laid into rotting vegetation, often above the water line. They hatch the following spring and the larvae take two or three years to develop. Adults can be seen any time from May to November. The peak flight period is July to September.
 
Adults mature well away from water, often around tree canopies in woodland glades. Mature males defend territories aggressively.
 
Common in the south, local elsewhere.
 

Sightings

05-Nov-2016:Trafico, Spain(1)
18-Sep-2016:Otmoor, Oxon(1)
11-Sep-2016:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
11-Sep-2016:Otmoor, Oxon(1)
04-Sep-2016:Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon(3m)
07-Aug-2016:Otmoor, Oxon(1)
06-Aug-2016:Fence Wood, Berks(3)
24-Jul-2016:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
23-Jul-2016:Bernwood Forest, Bucks(1m,1f)
11-Jul-2016:Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon(1)
07-Jul-2016:Fermyn Wood, Northants(1)

01-Oct-2015:Marston Meadows, Oxon(1m)
27-Sep-2015:Otmoor, Oxon(1)
19-Sep-2015:Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon(1)
12-Sep-2015:Radley Lakes, Oxon(1m)
07-Sep-2015:Otmoor, Oxon(3m,2f)
06-Sep-2015:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1m)
06-Sep-2015:Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon(1m)
15-Aug-2015:Rushy Common, Oxon(2)
02-Aug-2015:Otmoor, Oxon(2)
31-Jul-2015:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
11-Jul-2015:The Holies, Berks(1)

28-Sep-2014:Radley Lakes, Oxon(1)
13-Sep-2014:Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon(1)
31-Aug-2014:Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon(1)
28-Aug-2014:Otmoor, Oxon(1)
09-Aug-2014:Sole Common Pond, Berks(2)
03-Aug-2014:Otmoor, Oxon(3)
20-Jul-2014:Otmoor, Oxon(1)

12-Oct-2013:Radley Lakes, Oxon(1m,1f)
22-Sep-2013:Otmoor, Oxon(1)
21-Sep-2013:Radley Lakes, Oxon(1)
26-Aug-2013:Otmoor, Oxon(2)
24-Aug-2013:Radley Lakes, Oxon(3)
11-Aug-2013:Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon(1)
10-Aug-2013:Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon(4)
10-Aug-2013:Otmoor, Oxon(1)
07-Aug-2013:Marston Meadows, Oxon(1m)