Under reconstruction Please be patient


This discussion will focus on the genera visible in Southern Africa

Family Aeshnidae Leach, 1815

Evening Hawkers


  • More than 50 genera and over 450 species 


  • 9 species in sub-Sahara, divided into 3 genera with approximately 45 species.
    • Evening Hawker 1 species in Africa
    • Stream Hawker  5 species in Africa. 1 in South Africa
    • Highland Hawkers 3 species in Africa . 2 in South Africa 
  • The Family Aeshnidae  are divides in 9 genera. These genera all have the name "Hawker" as part of their common names.
  • This page will elaborate on three genera that is grouped under Hawkers.

Evening Hawker

  • The genus owes its scientific name to its combination of venation characters of both Anax and Aeshna,
  • Aeshna now split into three genera in tropical Africa.
  • Seven species range from southern Asia to the Pacific,
  • A. triangulifera is rather thinly spread in eastern and southern Africa and Madagascar.

Stream hawkers

  • Medium-sized species (hindwing 39-50 mm), paler than Afroaeschna and Zosteraeschna, with larger greyish green abdomen spots

Highland hawkers

  • The three species are confined to eastern and southern Africa.

General identification features

  • This family is close to Libelluloidea (skimmers perchers and other) due to the eyes that are in close contact, Hindwing broader than the forewing base but with different venation 

Habitat and behaviour

Evening Hawkers:

  • Found mostly in forest, from highlands down to sea-level.
  • It probably breeds in standing water
  • Adults are most active at dusk
  • Medium-sized (hindwing 41-45 mm) and the male’s face is bluish white, the eyes are bright blue in life (but brown when young), and the small abdomen spots are also bluish, In contrast green markings and eyes predominate in similar-sized African aeshnid males.

Stream Hawkers:

  • Medium-sized species (hindwing 39-50 mm)
  • Large greyish green abdomen spots.
  • Most active around sunset and breed in streams and smaller rivers, often fast-flowing with rocks, open and/or elevated.

Highland Hawkers:

  • Small (hindwing 36-41 mm)
  • Dark brown, marked with yellow-green, but the apex of abdominal segment 2 and base of 3 are marked blue.
  • Forest Hawker and Highland Hawker (found mainly in Uganda and Ruwenzori)breed in pools, typically in streams, which are usually shaded by highland forest, such as small impoundments.
  • Friendly Hawker (found mainly is South Africa and Namibia) has a similar but wider habitat range, found commonly at sheltered streams pools from sea level to highlands, but also at calm river sections, ornamental garden ponds and small dams.

Only images of males are shown
To view images of female follow the menu links to the main description pages
Click on all images to enlarge.

A selection of images

Genus Anaciaeschna, Evening Hawkers  

Genus Pinheyschna, Stream Hawkers

Genus Zosteraeschna