Southern Hawker, Aeshna cyanea

The southern hawker (Aeshna cyanea), also known as the blue darner, is a species of dragonfly that reaches an average body length of 2.8 inches. It is black in color with green markings occurring along its body and males sometimes hold blue markings on the belly. Males will fly around the vegetated areas of water sources like streams, looking for breeding females and fighting off other males. After breeding, females lay their eggs in rotting wood or vegetation during summer and autumn months. Eggs hatch during autumn months, after which larvae will latch onto tadpoles and other small invertebrates. The larvae will not emerge from the water until two or three years of age. Adult males are known for their curious nature and will even approach humans at a close range.

Image Caption: Southern Hawker (Aeshna cyanea). Credit: Böhringer/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.5)