Green-Eyed Hawker, Aeshna isosceles

The green-eyed hawker (Aeshna isosceles), known as the Norfolk hawker in Britain, is a species of dragonfly that can be found in Europe and North Africa. Its range includes areas of the Mediterranean, lowland areas of North Africa, and Portugal and Spain, where it is not a native species. It prefers to reside near ponds, marshes, and ditches with abundant vegetation. It was first described by Muller in 1764 as Libellula quadrifasciata, and after several classification changes, it was given its current taxonomic name and status.

The green-eyed hawker is brown in color and differs from A. grandis, which shares its range, in that it has green eyes and transparent wings, as well as a yellow t-shaped marking that occurs on the second section of the abdomen.

The green-eyed hawker can be seen between the months of May to August, during which time males can be seen guarding a small territory of water and vegetation and unlike other species of dragonfly, it rests on vegetation occasionally. After breeding, females will lay their eggs on plants, which hatch after two weeks and can take up to two years to develop into adults. The green-eyed hawker is a rare species in Britain, where it is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 and it appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Least Concern.â€

Image Caption: Adult male Green-eyed Hawker (Aeshna isoceles); short resting in the late afternoon. Credit: Christian Fischer/Wikipedia  (CC BY-SA 3.0)