Migrant Hawker - Aeshna mixta
Adult sizeOverall length: 56- 64mm Hindwing length: 37 - 41mm
Distinguishing featuresA late emerging summer & autumn hawker, much like a reduced size Common Hawker, similar in colour, but has a diagnostic yellow ‘t’ on the second segment in males and females. Costa (wing edge) is brown-black.
Identification - for help with terms see glossary
HabitatBreeds in a variety of well vegetated water bodies such as ponds, lakes, gravel pits, reservoirs and canals.
BehaviourBoth males and females with fly and hawk high in canopy and along hedges, but will often perch low down in vegetation and very approachable. Do not investigate humans.
Status and distributionCommon and increasing its range. Strongholds in southern England, but now reaching well into northern England and recently appeared in Ireland. Continental migrants may boost the population in late summer. One of the commonest hawkers in Dorset.
Flight periodMain flight period is July to November, peaking between August-October.
The Migrant Hawker can occur in habitat that supports 3 other blue Hawkers in Dorset: Common Hawker, Southern Hawker and Hairy Dragonfly. Its small size, and yellow ‘t’ shaped marking should easily separate it from the other species.
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All photographs by kind permission & © of Ken Dolbear unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.