Aeshna juncea

 
Common Name:
Common Hawker, Sedge Darner
Odonata
Order:
Odonata
Suborder:
Anisoptera
Family:
Aeshnidae
Genus:
Aeshna
Species:
A. juncea
The Name
Aeshna juncea (Linnaeus, 1758), the Common Hawker or Sedge Darner is one of the larger species of hawker dragonflies. It is native to Eurasia and northern North America. The flight period is from June to early October.
 
 
 
 
 

 

The Characteristics
It is 74 mm (2.9 in) long with a brown body. The male has a black abdomen with paired blue and yellow spots on each abdominal segment, and narrow stripes along the dorsal surface of the thorax. In the female, the abdomen is brown with yellow or sometimes green or blue spots. The wings of both sexes display a yellow costa (the major vein running along the leading edge of the wings). This species lacks the green thorax stripes of the Southern Hawker.
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

The Reproduction and Development
Adults are highly mobile and can be seen hunting well away from breeding sites. Favoured feeding areas are along edge of trees often flying at canopy level. At breeding areas males are territorial but at low densities. Patrol low down searching for females.

Females lay eggs alone whilst perched at edge of water. Eggs are inserted into plants or wet substrate. Eggs hatch after winter diapause. Development takes a minimum of two years but in colder areas may take 4 years. Larvae live amongst vegetation and capture prey by ambush, or less frequently by pursuit. Emerges at night close to edges of pools in low vegetation.

Flight period from mid June to October, preferred environment includes oligotrophic and mesotrophic pools and small lakes in blanket bog, raised bog and locally in fens.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

The Distribution
Ranged throughout northern and central Europe with some isolated populations in southern Europe. Also across northern Asia to Japan and northern North America from Alaska to Newfoundland. 
 
 

 

The Protection Status
Common and abundant throughout its range.
 

References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Hawker
http://www.habitas.org.uk/dragonflyireland/5624d.htm
http://www.dragonflysoc.org.uk/aejun.html
The Species on Stamps
Finland
1954.12.07
Norway
1998.01.02
Finland
2003.05.07

 
 
 
 
 

 


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