Aeshna caerulea (Azure Hawker)

This was the second gap in my UK collection that could be plugged, with a fair bit of luck, by a trip to Scotland. Having visited the Cairngorms for Coenagrion hastulatum, we headed across to Loch Maree on the west coast for A. carulea. With a stroke of luck, we found two males in a 45-minute window of decent conditions and that was in almost two weeks of trying.

A beautiful, subtly coloured, early flying Hawker of modest size, limited, in our isles, to Scotland, mainly the west. It seems that, if you can find them, you have a better chance of a close encounter in cooler conditions, when they settle on rocks, tree trunks, logs, and even clothing or hands to absorb some warmth. With my experience of Scotland, cooler conditions is the norm. Our showman landed on each of us in turn. What a delight.

[This is not likely to be confusing ‘cos you probably went in search of it but for general Hawker identification help, see my comparison chart.]

Id Notes

  • ♂ – a blue mosaic Hawker with no yellow anywhere
  • ♂ – shortened antehumeral stripes
  • ♀ – two colour forms, yellow-beige or blue
  • ♀ – no antehumeral stripes
  • colour fades in cooler conditions