Saturday, 12 September 2015

Migrant And Southern-migrant Hawker Identification.

After the very privileged encounter back in August with the stunning Southern-migrant Hawkers at Wat Tyler Country Park in Essex,i thought i would just put a piece together on how distinct this cracking species is when compared to the much commoner Migrant Hawker.
 The mature males really speak for them selves and there is no other species of dragonfly in Europe which looks like it.The females are also distinct in their own right when seen well and we could ID the female we encountered in flight alone.
 Below are a selection of photos of both species depicting the differences between these two Aeshna dragons.
What a distinctive dragonfly mature males SMH are!,from the striking blue eyes to the blue triangular mark on S2 and combination of blue and black markings all along the abdomen.Subtle characters include shorter anal appendages than Migrant Hawker and longer and thinner pterostigmas.


Mature male Migrant Hawker - Less blue eyes than male SMH and browner thorax with similarly small antehumerals,small yellow golf tee on S2,with distinct blue band below.

Mature male SMH - Close up detail,showing how the striking blue eyes really stand out with plainer green sides on the side of the thorax than MH with a suffusion of blue.

Mature male Migrant Hawker - note the more contrasting sides to the thorax,with the broad,yellow,double stripes and mixture of brown and blue in the eyes.

Male Migrant Hawker - This is an immature male,the yellow 'golf' tee not fully coloured up yet,but still basically the same features when compared to male SMH.

Mature Female Southern-migrant Hawker - Not as strikingly colourful as the males,but a very distinctive dragonfly all the same.The main features are the greenish/yellow marking on S2,less contrasting sides to the thorax,longer and thinner pterostigmas and shorter anal appendages when compared to female Migrant Hawker.

Mature Female Migrant Hawker - Basically a yellow and brown Hawker when mature,being very different to female SMH.Even from this view you can see the yellow stripes on the side of the thorax and the shape of the tee marking is totally different than SMH.

Mature Female Southern-migrant Hawker - Note the features mentioned above,a mixture of blue and green eyes,green sides to the thorax and distinct greenish/yellow marking on S2.

Mature Female Migrant Hawker - You can appreciate the yellow and brown combination of a mature female here when compared to female SMH,also note the longer anal appendages.

Mature Female Southern-migrant Hawker - The plain green sides to the thorax can be seen well on this photo.