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Family AESHNIDAE - Hawker Dragonflies

Members in this family are commonly known as Hawk Dragonflies. They are usually large in size, with body length 50-100 mm and wings span 80-150 mm. They are either blue, green, brown or yellow in colour with black markings. Their compound eyes are broadly confluent at the midline of the head. Their wings are always clear. 

Australian Emperor Dragonfly, body length 65mm 

They are strong fliers, can be found long distance from water. Most species spend most of the time flying and hunting for prey, seldom rest during the day time. When rest, they are usually in a vertical position, with body hanging downwards. Females oviposit in water plants or floating wood above or below water.

  
Larval exuviaes of  Hawker Dragonfly length 40mm
 
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Length 30mm 

Blue-spotted Hawker
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Adversaeschna brevistyla, female, male, body length 50mm
This is a large dragonfly with bright-blue pattern on black, with two prominent blue stripes on each sides of the thorax. Notice the two large blue spots and the "cat face" pattern on the back near the wings base. The leading edge of all wings are pale orange in colour. Its scientific name was Aeshna brevistyla and changed to Adversaeschna brevistyla lately. More pictures and information please visit this page
 
 
Australian Emperor, Yellow Emperor Dragonfly
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Hemianax papuensis, male, body length 65mm
This is a very large dragonfly. They never stop flying over the pond. During a sunny summer day, you will see this yellow large dragonfly flying over every piece of large flash waters in Brisbane. It is usually the largest dragonfly on the water and will chase away any flying object on its path. The dragonfly is pale yellow in colour with grey pattern on the body. At the end of its abdomen there is the yellow spot as the 'tail light'. Click here for more information on this dragonfly.
 
 
Australian Duskhawker
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Austrogynacantha heterogena, body length 60mm
Australian Duskhawker is crepuscular and vagrant. The larvae inhabit still water. The dragonfly is bright green in colour with dark brown patterns. Please check this page for more information. 
 

Reference:
1. The Australian Dragonflies - CSIRO, Watson, Theisinger & Abbey,1991, p174.
2. A Field Guide to Dragonflies of South East Queensland - Ric Nattrass, 2006, p45.
3. The Complete Field Guide to Dragonflies of Australia - CSIRO, GŁnther Theischinger and John Hawking, 2006, p148. 

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Last updated: January 16, 2011.