Southern Migrant Hawker, Aeshna affinis

The southern migrant hawker (Aeshna affinis), also known as the blue-eyed hawker, is a species of dragonfly that can be found in southern areas of Asia and Europe. Its range extends from central and southern areas of Europe, areas in the Mediterranean including Sicily and Corsica, and from the Middle East and Africa to Asia. Its range varies depending upon weather conditions, so it is found in northern areas when temperatures are favorable.

The southern migrant hawker is a small species that can be confused with its close relative, A. mixta. Males are blue in color with blue eyes, while females are green in color. The sides of the body are greenish yellow in color.

Adult southern migrant hawkers appear in May and can be seen until September, with many individuals moving away from the water source they were born near to feed and develop into sexually mature adults. After a few weeks of developing, males will venture out to streams with thick vegetation in search of breeding females. After breeding, males remain with females to lay eggs, a trait that is unique dragonflies within its range.

Image Caption: Aeshna affinis, Southern Migrant Hawker, male side view. Credit: Robert Geerts/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)