Name: Common Hawker
Scientific name: Aeshna juncea
Nature Stars: 60
About: A large hawker-type dragonfly, about 10 cm long. Mostly black in colour, the male has pale blue spots and yellow flecks all along the body, dark blue eyes and pale yellow and blue patches on the thorax. The female has yellowish spots and brownish eyes. On the wing from the end of June through to October. An animal of the uplands of the north and west, found particularly on moorland pools and lakes, as well as garden ponds.
How to identify: The black-and-blue hawkers are a tricky group of dragonflies to identify. The Common Hawker is larger and darker than the Migrant Hawker, lacks the lime green spots of Southern Hawker and has more black and less blue than the rare Azure Hawker of northern Scotland.
Where: Widespread, although mostly absent from the south and east of England.
Fantastic fact: A shy dragonfly, that will usually fly off rather than let you have a close look.
Photograph credit: Zsuzsanna Bird