Brachytron pratense | Hairy Dragonfly | Seabhcaí an Earraigh



Conservation status

Ireland: Least Concern

EU: Least Concern

There is no evidence of any significant change in the abundance and distribution.

Native status


Species Biology


Length: 5.5cm.                                                                                                                         

Wingspan: 7.2cm                                                                                                                                                 

This is the smallest Hawker found in Ireland. Males have paired blue, tear-shaped spots along abdomen and a pair of green stripes on either side of the thorax. They have broad, blue eyes. Females have yellow dots along abdomen. Both have a hairy thorax which is visible at close range.

Adult habitat & habits

Weaves in and out of vegetation often with  rustling from wings. Neat, compact, secretive. Usually solitary but groups can be seen in woods early in the season.


Lives and breeds in areas where emergent vegetation is abundant. Found around clean, still waters e.g. ponds, lakes, ditches, fens. Will only fly in sunshine. Not found around running water or upland lakes. 

Flight period

May to July (occasionally March, August and/or September)


World distribution(GBIF)

Irish distribution

Quite common throughout Ireland particularly lowland areas, west and north midlands and coastal areas. Sometimes found on offshore islands. 

Temporal change

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2024

The following map is interactive. If you would prefer to view it full screen then click here.