View the above photo record (by Gregg Darling) in OdonataMAP here.
Find the Friendly Hawker in the FBIS database (Freshwater Biodiversity Information System) here.
Zosteraeschna minuscula – FRIENDLY HAWKER
Length up to 62mm; Wingspan reaches 83mm.
The sexes are similar but females either lack the blue saddle or it is very reduced. Females also have amber outer wings.
Zosteraeschna minuscula is closely similar to the Forest Hawker (Zosteraeschna usambarica), but differs in having an anchor-shaped marking on the forehead and straight, parallell green markings on the shoulders. The Friendly Hawker also has somewhat paler, duller green stripes on the sides of the thorax. These stripes are a brighter shade of green in the Forest Hawker.
Click here for more details on identification of the Friendly Hawker.
Inhabits the slow moving or still sections of rivers, ponds and dams. Mostly found in open habitats in the grassland and fynbos biomes, but also widespread in the southern parts of the Karoo. A mid to high altitude species in the north of its range, but occurs to near sea level in the Eastern and Western Cape.
Patrols back and forth over the water and the vegetated fringes. Fairly inquisitive and may approach an observer before moving off again. Often seen hovering over one spot before quickly darting off. The flight is swift and powerful.
Status and Conservation
Fairly common. Listed as of Least Concern in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Has successfully adapted to make use of suitable man-made habitats.
Near-endemic to South Africa. Occurs in a broad band from the Western Cape up to the extreme southern parts of Limpopo. Found, at least marginally in all South African Provinces. Also known locally from several sites in Namibia.
Below is a map showing the distribution of records for Friendly Hawker in the OdonataMAP database as at February 2020.
The next map below is an imputed map, produced by an interpolation algorithm, which attempts to generate a full distribution map from the partial information in the map above. This map will be improved by the submission of records to the OdonataMAP section of the Virtual Museum.
Ultimately, we will produce a series of maps for all the odonata species in the region. The current algorithm is a new algorithm. The objective is mainly to produce “smoothed” maps that could go into a field guide for odonata. This basic version of the algorithm (as mapped above) does not make use of “explanatory variables” (e.g. altitude, terrain roughness, presence of freshwater — we will be producing maps that take these variables into account soon). Currently, it only makes use of the OdonataMAP records for the species being mapped, as well as all the other records of all other species. The basic maps are “optimistic” and will generally show ranges to be larger than what they probably are.
These maps use the data in the OdonataMAP section of the Virtual Museum, and also the database assembled by the previous JRS funded project, which was led by Professor Michael Samways and Dr KD Dijkstra.