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

The narrative was kindly written
 and supplied by
Mr Ken Crick

Southern Hawker (Aeshna cyanea)

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 70mm Wing Span 100mm.
 
Male: - The male (see above) can appear predominantly blue in flight due to their blue flanked abdomen. At rest males are clearly brown, green and blue. The green tends towards the yellow end of the spectrum. There are two broad stripes on the upper brown surface of the thorax. There is a large green triangle on the upper surface of the second abdominal segment. It is the only British resident Aeshna species that has undivided blue stripes on abdominal segments nine & ten.

Female: - The female is more heavily built than the male, yellowish green replaces the males blue. The undivided stripes on abdominal segments nine and ten remain diagnostic.

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Status: - Predominantly located in the UK south of the Humber.

Habitat: -Very small ponds can support surprisingly large numbers of larvae. They are found on ponds, lakes, canals and ditches. Favouring stagnant, small and shaded water bodies.

Flight period: - Mid July to mid September.

General: - Hawks along shady rides, is very inquisitive and will approach and inspect an observer that has entered its hawking territory. Males are territorial, some ponds are held by a single male, in contrast to the large number of larvae found in the water.

Males hold territory for a limited period in the day, before giving way to another. Both sexes hunt until dusk & have been seen apparently hawking in light rain.

Copulation takes place away from the water and can take up to two hours. Females egg-lay alone into water side vegetation, rotting dead wood, mosses and the damp bank side soil. Emerging Southern Hawker larvae can be found on almost any surface including concrete.

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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