Migrant Hawker

©David Martin

Migrant Hawker

Scientific name: Aeshna mixta
The Migrant Hawker is not a particularly aggressive species, and may be seen feeding in large groups. It flies late into autumn and can be seen in gardens, grasslands and woodlands.

Species information

Statistics

Length: 6.3cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

July to November

About

The Migrant Hawker is a medium-sized hawker dragonfly that is on the wing from the end of July through to October, or even November in warm years. It is a very common species and 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 Hawkers) and is not on the wing at the same time as the Hairy Dragonfly.

Distribution

Found in Southern and Central England and South Wales.

Did you know?

During the late summer, large numbers of Migrant Hawkers arrive from the continent boosting the resident population.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way. Encourage dragonflies and damselflies into your garden by having a wildlife-friendly pond. To find out more about gardening for wildlife, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.