Hawkers

Family Aeshnidae Leach, 1815

General.
  • 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.
Distribution Worldwide
  • More than 50 genera and over 450 species 
Africa

9 species in sub-Sahara, divided into 3 genera with approximately 45 species.

  • Evening Hawker 1 species in Africa  (Evening Hawker)
  • Stream Hawker  5 species in Africa. 1 in South Africa 
  • Highland Hawkers 3 species in Africa . 2 in South 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.
Synopsis

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A selection of images

 

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