Giant dragonfly found in north Cumbria

Measuring almost 10cm ( 5 inches) long, a green and black dragonfly has been spotted in woodland in north Cumbria.

Is this a Southern Hawker dragonfly in north Cumbria

Is this a Southern Hawker dragonfly in north Cumbria. - Click image for larger view

Initial research around the internet by indicates that it could be a female Southern Hawker ( Aeshna cyanea) dragonfly.  But can you confirm our research?

If our non-specialised research proves correct, then this sighting will be good news for conservation projects in the area north of Carlisle.

In 2003 the BBC reported that wardens at the RSPB Campfield Marsh, near Carlisle, made their first sighting of the Southern Hawker dragonfly. This followed work done on the Solway marshes to encourage the flying insect.

This dragonfly is widespread throughout Europe, but quite a rare sight so far north.

Web page descriptions indicate that Southern Hawkers have black bodies with green and yellow markings on their back. Males are often slightly brighter in colour and have blue bands on the end of their abdomen.

The British Dragonfly Society indicate that this species of dragonfly can be found across most of the UK, however numbers are much lower around the England / Scottish border and further north.

The Virtual Fauna of Lakeland website, maintained by the Keeper of Natural Sciences,Tullie House Museum, Carlisle, indicates the last record was of this dragonfly was in 2008.

Is this the picture of a Southern Hawker ? Let us know via the comments area below or the contact us page

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