Hairy Dragonfly

Brachytron pratense

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Length: 55mm

Flight period: May to July (some seen in late March and April)

The UK's smallest Hawker, emerging before other Hawkers in May. It has a distinctly hairy thorax (see photos), oval spots on each abdominal segment and a long, thin pterostigma.

Male: dark in appearence and the spots on the abdomen are blue. It has green ante-humeral stripes.

Female: yellow markings and much shorter ante-humeral stripes.


Mainly found near unpolluted, well-vegetated water bodies.

Status & Distribution

Uncommon but increasing its range. Now widely scattered through England, Wales and Ireland but rare in Scotland.

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Similar species

Could potentially be confused with other Hawker dragonflies, but its early flight season and relatively small size are good clues to its identity.