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Dragonfly - Common Hawker, mating




Dragonfly - Common Hawker, mating - July - Haworth Penistone


Dragonfly - Common Hawker, mating

Dragonfly in the picture is the Common Aeshna (Aeshna Juncea) the male is top with blue spots on abdomen, female below has dull green spots. The male has hold of the female by the neck and she has brought her aperture into contact with his sperm capsule which is the second segment on the abdomen. This species is most common near acid/peat water.
Length 76mm
Wingspan 95mm

Dragonflies feed on insects which they catch while flying with their forelegs extended out.
They belong to the group Hawkers - Dragonflies that restlessly patrol their territory in search of prey. Other category is the Darters which have thicker body and will spend time resting on vegetation.

Life cycle
After the Dragonflies have mated they fly off often both joined together, the female pushes her abdomen into the water and inserts the eggs amongst vegetation. The eggs hatch into nymphs which spend two years in the water feeding on tadpoles and other prey. In early summer the grown nymph leaves the water usually early evening and clings to foliage, it sheds its skin and emerges as a winged adult dragonfly.




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