Hairy Dragonfly, Brachytron pratense
The hairy dragonfly (Brachytron pratense), also known as the hairy hawker or spring hawker, is a dragonfly that is the sole member of its genus, Brachytron. It can be found in Europe, preferring to reside lakes, fens, ponds, ditches, and canals with abundant vegetation, like great fen sedge and common reed.
The hairy dragonfly has a thorax that is covered in hair, the trait from which it received its common name. It is a small species that holds oval shaped markings on its lower body, which are typically yellow on females and blue on males. This species emerges in May and can be seen until mid-July and after breeding, eggs will be laid on the stems of living aquatic plants or dead vegetation. After the eggs hatch, the larvae remain in the water for about two years, developing into sub-adults. Adults consume flying insects by catching them in mid-flight and carrying them to an area where they can rest and digest the prey easily.
Although the hairy dragonfly has a stable population, it can be threatened by poor water conditions and ditch management practices, which has caused the species to disappear from areas of its range in the past.
Image Caption: Hairy Dragonfly (Brachytron pratense). Credit: Danny Chapman/Wikipedia (CC BY 2.0)