Hawkers, Emperors and Spectres (Aeshnidae)
These are large dragonflies which are often seen hawking in in open but sheltered places, as well as over predominately still waters. Males make aggressive and swift patrols over water, usually following a fairly fixed route. Direct flight is frequently interspersed with hovering pauses. Eleven Aeshna, five Anax, one Brachytron and three Boyeria species are found in Europe.
Eleven species have been recorded in Britain.
  • Hairy Dragonfly: scarce and local in England and Wales
  • Azure Hawker: scarce and local in Scotland
  • Common Hawker: common and widespresd, except in SE England
  • Migrant Hawker: common in England Wales; regular migrant
  • Southern Migrant Hawker: recent colonist in Essex and Kent
  • Southern Hawker: common in England and Wales, local elsewhere
  • Brown Hawker: common; absent from N and W Britain
  • Norfolk Hawker: restricted to Norfolk Broads
  • Emperor Dragonfly: common and widespread in southern Britain; increasing elsewhere
  • Lesser Emperor: an uncommon vagrant
  • Vagrant Emperor: a rare vagrant