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Is this just a Common Hawker? (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Or can I see a T-shape on back that suggest might be Southern or Migrant?


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Andy Adcock

Well-known member
I think I see the diagnostic triangle which makes this a Migrant Hawker?

Certainly in Notts, Migrant is far commoner than Common.


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Farnboro John

Well-known member
It appears to have a yellow costa (the leading vein of the wing) which I think is diagnostic of Common Hawker. Whixall Moss is a bog so the habitat is right too.
Concur, with the proviso that Migrant Hawkers are not averse to bogs, I wouldn't trust that as a feature. The costa ought to be spot on though.



Well-known member
Thanks folks, I thought I could see a T-shape too, like Andy, but still learning a lot about dragonflies.
Appreciate your thoughts.

Adey Baker

Although you'd expect Common Hawkers at somewhere like Whixall Moss, their habitat requirements mean they're far from 'common' in many areas. Here in Leicestershire, for instance, there are only a few fully authenticated records of Common Hawker, the name 'Common' seemingly fooling people into presuming that they're the most likely candidate to start with. Migrant Hawkers are smaller and appear later and the very noticeable antehumeral 'stripes' (actually large 'blobs' rather than stripes) of Southern Hawkers stand out well. There are obviously other differences but once you get the key features, they're staightforward enough.


Paul Winter

All of Southern, Migrant and Common Hawker have similar markings on S1/S2 . In Southern and Common S1 is pale. This is usually blue (male) or yellow (female) in Common Hawker and greeny/yellow (or yellowy/green!) in Southern Hawker. This leads to S1/S2 showing a "T" for both species. In Migrant Hawker S1 is brown for both sexes which makes the mark on S2 look like a golf tee.

I find it easier to use the other features in the field - yellow costas and long shoulder (antehumeral) stripes in Common Hawker, broad shoulder (antehumeral) stripes and fused spots at the end of the abdomen giving a tail-light in Southern Hawker and the short shoulder (antehumeral) stripes in Migrant Hawker.

I tend to avoid using habitat as an ID feature - in the New Forest you can see a lot of Southern and Migrant Hawkers in the boggy areas whereas Common Hawker is unfortunately extremely scarce.

A couple of composite images attached.



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Well-known member
Great tips, thank you very much.

I've been dragonfly watching only for about a month, but seen 3 (un)Common Hawkers now.
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