Norfolk Hawker

©Danny Green/2020VISION

Norfolk Hawker

©Danny Green/2020VISION

Norfolk Hawker

©Danny Green/2020VISION

Norfolk hawker

Scientific name: Anaciaeschna isoceles
The rare Norfolk hawker is a pale brown dragonfly, with a distinctive yellow triangle on its body. It is only found in unpolluted fens, marshes and ditches of the Broads National Park in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Species information


Length: 6.7cm

Conservation status

Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework.

When to see

June to July


The Norfolk hawker is a large hawker dragonfly that is on the wing for a short period during June and the very beginning of July. A rare dragonfly, it is found in the marshes, fens and ditches of the Broads National Park where Water Soldier is growing. It needs unspoilt grazing marsh with non-saline water to survive. Having spent up to two years in the water, mature dragonfly larvae climb on to emerging vegetation at night and moult into adult dragonflies, leaving behind a cast known as an 'exuviae'. Newly emerged Norfolk hawkers wait until early morning to fly off to other areas to feed, but will take another two to three weeks to reach maturity.

How to identify

The Norfolk hawker is entirely pale brown apart from a yellow triangle at the base of the body. It is similar to the larger Brown Hawker, but paler in colour, with green eyes and clear wings.


Only found in the Norfolk Broads and some other wetlands in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Did you know?

Dragonflies are able to fly at speeds of up to 36km per hour, move their wings approximately 30 times a second, and fly forwards, sideways and backwards.

How people can help

The Norfolk Broads is an inland waterway and a very special area of fen, marshland and reedbed. Along with the Suffolk Broads, it is the UK's largest protected area of wetland and has National Park status. Many organisations and individuals work together within the Park to conserve and enhance its rare habitats for the benefit of both wildlife and people. Norfolk Wildlife Trust and Suffolk Wildlife Trust are two of these partners and between them have a number of nature reserves in the area, which they protect for local wildlife like the rare Norfolk Hawker. Become a member and support the work of your local Wildlife Trust.