Southern Hawker immediately after eclosion

Southern Hawker

The Southern Hawker or Blue Darner (Aeshna cyanea) is a 70 millimetres long species of hawker dragonfly. It is large, with a long body. It has green markings on the black bodies, and the male also has blue spots on the abdomen.

The Southern Hawker breeds in still or slow-flowing water, but will wander widely, and is often seen in gardens and open woodland. This is an inquisitive species and will approach people.

The Southern Hawker is a large, brightly coloured Dragonfly. The males are often seen patrolling by a ponds edge or river, where they fight away intruders, crashing into rival males and spiralling through the air. The females are quite inconspicuous when they lay their eggs, but they sometimes give away their spot by clattering up from the reeds. If you look carefully you can sometimes find them ovipositing (laying eggs) into some moss, reeds or rotten wood. The males are sometimes very curious and come flying up to you and allowing a close view.

The eggs are laid by jabbing the abdomen into rotting vegetation or wood. The eggs hatch in the spring, after being laid in the previous summer or autumn. The larvae emerge after 2–3 years.

Source: - 29.06.2011

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