Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Migrant Hawker, revisited

The Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta) is one of the smaller species of hawker dragonflies. It is about 63mm long and although it prefers still or slow-flowing water and can tolerate brackish sites for breeding it is often found away from water. The flight period is from July to the end of October. In the United Kingdom this insect was rare until the 1940's when it began migrating from the continent in large numbers. It continues to do so and is now a resident breeding species throughout England and Wales. It reached the Isle of Man in 1998 and Eire in 2000.

On this photo you can see the key identification points. The leading edge of the wings, know as the costa, is brown, the two yellow lines on the thorax (just below the large eyes) are narrow and there is a distinctive "golf tee" mark on segment two of the abdomen with a blue band below.
Dragonflies are the insect equivalent of falcons, there catch smaller insects while they are flying. This one has taken to resting on Chris's (our next door neighbour) runner beans and I've now got her trained well enough that she came and got me to see it when she saw it perched there!


Steve said...

Hi Tony, what a superb blog you have here. I have really enjoyed looking through it. Some great pictures as well (like the Autumn Gentian especially) Would you mind if I linked you from my blog?

Thanks Steve www.newhythe.blogspot.com

Tony Morris said...

Hi Steve, that would be great and I'll reciprocate.

Ischnura said...

Nice shots. I really like this species and am lucky to see many in my own patch in August and September.