Status: - Common and widespread in southern England and south Wales. Its northern limit continues to expand with sightings in lowland Scotland and southern Eire.
Habitat: - Breeding sites include canals, ponds, lakes and flooded excavations where there is a substantial amount of marginal vegetation. Slow flowing rivers are also favoured. My own 4 foot square pond often produces Anax imperator; the highest number to emerge on a single night was twenty.
Flight period: - Early June to the end of August.
General: - Flies with a characteristic downward bend to the abdomen. Males are aggressively territorial, battling with Libellula quadrimaculata and depressa as well as other males of their own species. They are territorially well spaced with some quite large ponds supporting a maximum of two males. Copulation is relatively brief and tends to take place away from water.
Occasionally in flight, a male guarding of an egg-laying female has been observed.