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Southern Hawker Dragonfly (Aeshna cyanea)
(Photograph by member Alice)
Alan Broodbank's comments, 'Immature dragonflies aren't the easiest things in the world to identify from a single photo, especially when the colours haven't fully developed but I'm pretty sure that this is Aeshna cyanea, the Southern Hawker. I can understand why you suspected the Golden Ringed Dragonfly, but the markings don't seem quite right and it is definitely a species of moor and heathlands. The Southern Hawker breeds in woodland lakes and garden ponds, and it is very common in Southern England. There are a couple of similar-ish species but my money would be on A. cyanea ! I'd be interested to find out if the other entomological worthies concur!
Stuart Hine writes, 'Not the best angle for identification, but I am pretty sure that this is a female 'Southern Hawker', Aeshna cyanea - common in the south of the UK and a frequent visitor to garden ponds. This dragonfly breeds in my garden pond, which is just 4 feet square and 20" deep (an old water tank), so perhaps it could be one of our emergees.'
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