064. Blue Emperor – Emperor Dragonfly – Anax imperator – UK – European Dragonfly photo
The Blue Emperor – Emperor Dragonfly ( Anax imperator ) is yet another species which made a rapid northerly extension of its breeding range in the U K during the 1980’s. It was then known simply as the Emperor Dragonfly and was first confirmed in my county of Cheshire in June 1989. It is now quite widespread although nowhere is it common. Yet throughout western and southern Europe where it breeds in a wide range of still waters it is one of the most frequently encountered larger dragonflies. The type habitat shown below is a superb pond managed as part of an educational Nature Reserve.
KEY I/D FEATURES
An adult male is one of the largest of the aeshnids and can often be recognised in flight as its body appears to curve slightly downwards. It has a sky blue abdomen with a dorsal black line. The eyes are a green – blue in colour and there is a black pentagon shaped mark at the back of the frons. The thorax is green with blue marks just in from the wing base.
Females are mainly green and pale when teneral.