Belongs to: hawkers

Brown hawker Aeshna isosceles


Best time to see: Jul to late Sep

Key facts

Large brown dragonfly with distinctive amber-coloured wings

Habitat: on canals, except where grossly polluted, and flooded gravel pits

Common and widespread in lowland Britain and Ireland

Recognition

Mainly brown with amber-tinted wings and 2 yellow bars on side of thorax; male has blue spots and blue-tinted eyes

Gliding flight interspersed with bursts of shallow wingbeats, combined with turns and loops in pursuit of prey

Fly from July well into September, usually solitary, preying on flying insects

Lifecycle

Females lay eggs, which remain dormant over winter, into plants just above or below the water or into floating logs

Larvae hatch in spring and develop over 2–4 years, eating midge larvae and adults and even damselflies

Larvae leave the water at night and climb bankside vegetation, emerging as adults before dawn

  • Main photo
  • female
  • laying

Photo © Andy McGeeney

Photo © Bill Varney

Photo © Tony Gunton