All featured images were taken by and remain the property of Chris Brooks

The narrative was kindly written
 and supplied by
Mr Ken Crick

Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta)

A Species Narrative by Ken Crick

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Welcome to my new style narrative, the content of which has been kindly written and supplied by Ken Crick. The narrative is intended to give an insight into the life cycle and characteristics of the featured species.  

Size: - Approximate Length 63mm Wing Span 87mm.
 
Male: - The male (see above) is a medium sized dragonfly with steel blue eyes and two short yellow (antehumeral) stripes on the upper surface of the thorax. In flight the abdomen appears predominantly blue. At rest, a yellow triangle outlined in black can be seen located on the upper surface of the second abdominal segment. The leading edge (the costa) of the wings is black. On the most similar species, the Common Hawker (Aeshna juncea) the costa are yellow.

Female: - The female (see below) is brown with pale yellow markings throughout. The antehumeral stripes are equally reduced in length. The costa on each wing is black.

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Status: - This species continues to extend its range northwards and westwards. Numerous in parts of the southeast, where, it can be the most commonly observed Aeshna species on the wing.

Habitat: - The well vegetated margins of ponds, gravel pits, canals, slow flowing ditches and streams.

Flight period: - Mid July to October.

General: - During the autumn of 2008 six males were seen flying together around a tree with no sign of aggression. This species can be found hunting along the edge of woods, across woodland glades and along rides.

Copulation is frequently lengthy making coupled pairs relatively easy to photograph. They can be found near the waters edge hanging from anything from a stinging nettle to the branch of a tree.

Females egg-lay alone into emergent plants such as reed mace, starting above the water line. They have been observed laying in mud at the waters edge.

This autumn species eggs do not hatch until the following spring, when the larvae develop rapidly reaching full maturity four to five months later.

The narrative was kindly written and supplied by Ken Crick

All featured images were taken by and remain the property of Chris Brooks

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