Migrant hawker

Aeshna mixta

About

The migrant hawker is a medium-sized hawker dragonfly which is on the wing from the end of July through to October, or even November in warm years. It is a very common species during the late summer and autumn, when it can be found hunting in gardens, grassland and woodland some distance from its breeding ponds. Hawkers are the largest and fastest flying dragonflies; they catch their insect-prey mid-air and can hover or fly backwards.

How to identify

The migrant hawker is mostly dark brown and 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. The black-and-blue hawkers are a tricky group of dragonflies to identify. The migrant hawker is smaller and has more brown on it than the other three large species (common, azure and southern hawker) and is not on the wing at the same time as the hairy dragonfly.

Where to find it

Southern and central England and South Wales.

Habitats

When to find it

  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November

How can people help

Human activity, including the drainage of land for agriculture and the loss of ponds through development, has resulted in the disappearance of many wetlands. The Wildlife Trusts are working closely with planners, developers and farmers to ensure our wetlands are protected. You can help too: encourage dragonflies and damselflies into your garden by having a wildlife-friendly pond. In partnership with the RHS, The Wildlife Trusts' Wild About Gardens initiative can help you plan your wildlife garden with plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

Species information

Common name
Migrant hawker
Latin name
Aeshna mixta
Category
Invertebrates
Dragonflies and damselflies
Statistics
Length: 6.3cm
Conservation status
Common.