Saturday, September 14, 2013

Hairy Dragonfly

Somebody else remarked to me that the Hairy Dragonfly (Brachytron pratense) was more abundant than usual this year and had a very long season. Looking back at my photos and records, I am inclined to agree. I saw it at several localities this year and the photo below was taken at Woodwalton Fen NNR on 15 June. This is normally quite an early flying species which peaks in May and often has quite a short flight period.

This shot shows the characteristic, rather downy thorax and base of the abdomen from which the common name derives. Compare it to the similarly posed shot of a Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta) below and you can see that hairs are only evident on the "shoulders", whilst the rear parts of the thorax and base of the abdomen are quite bare.

This is rather an old shot, taken in August 2003 using a Nikon 4500, so the resolution is not as good.