Southern Hawker Dragonfly Aeshna cyanea

Southern Hawker Dragonfly
Colourful Southern Hawker male
The Southern Hawker Dragonfly, one of the large "hawkers," has a characteristic "V" shape in the top segment of its abdomen above a greeny-blue, sideways "B" shape.
Southern Hawker Dragonfly male
Southern Hawker possibly juvenile male
While the female Southern Hawker is greener (less blue) than the male, the photo above right is of a male camouflaged in green: the male has a slim waist and anal claspers.
Southern Hawker female with red legs This female has red thighs
Southern Hawker female She has a fatter "waist"
Southern Hawker Dragonfly Ladies like flowers
Southern Hawker Dragonfly emerging from nymph
Southern Hawker emerged from nymph exuvia
A Southern Hawker Dragonfly newly-emerged from the exo-skeleton (exuvia) of its nymph (larval) phase
Southern Hawker emerged wings together Initially wings are held together like a damselfly
Southern Hawker emerged wings spread Then wings are spread to dry
Dragonfly The adult
Southern Hawker
Southern Hawker
Head, thorax and waist close-up, with full and with blurred backgrounds.
Dragonfly
Complete dragonfly
The "eyes" on the thorax are another distinguishing feature.
Southern Hawker nymph Southern Hawker nymph, a water-dwelling larva feeding on pond insects for its 3 years of aquatic life
Southern Hawker exuvium The nymph climbs out of the water and the exoskeleton is left once the adult dragonfly has emerged and flown
Exuvium mouthparts The nymph mouthparts
The redundant exoskeleton of the dragonfly nymph is variously referred to as exuvium/exuvia (neuter singular/plural) and exuvia/exuviae (feminine). The latter seems more usual.