Brown hawker

Aeshna grandis


The brown hawker is a large hawker dragonfly which is on the wing from the end of June through to September. It is a common dragonfly of well-vegetated canals, marshes and reedbeds as well as lakes and gravel pits. It can be spotted patrolling a regular hunting territory which it will defend aggressively against intruders. It can be found some distance from its breeding grounds, hawking woodland rides late into the evening. Hawkers are the largest and fastest flying dragonflies; they catch their insect-prey mid-air and can hover or fly backwards.

How to identify

The brown hawker is easily recognised, even in flight, by its entirely chocolate brown body with tiny yellow and blue markings. The wings are golden-orange in colour and the male has a noticeable 'waisted' appearance.

Where to find it

Much of England, Northern Ireland and parts of Wales.


When to find it

  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September

How can people help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife, including the brown hawker. But these precious sites are under threat from development, drainage and climate change. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife happenings, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities and be helping local wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
Brown hawker
Latin name
Aeshna grandis
Dragonflies and damselflies
Length: 7.3cm
Conservation status