All featured images were taken by and remain the property of Chris Brooks

The narrative was kindly written
 and supplied by
Mr Ken Crick

Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator)

A Species Narrative by Ken Crick

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Welcome to my new style narrative, the content of which has been kindly written and supplied by Ken Crick. The narrative is intended to give an insight into the life cycle and characteristics of the featured species.

Size: - Approximate Length 78mm Wing Span 107mm.
Male: - The male (see above) has an apple green thorax with two eye like marks on the upper surface just in front of the wings. Abdominal segment one is also apple green, segments 2 to 10 are bright blue with a black uninterrupted stripe running the full length. The wings leading edges are yellow
Female: - The female (see below) is generally green throughout. Eye markings on the top of the thorax are less conspicuous; in all other aspects the female closely resembles the male. The abdomen can even turn blue with age.

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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. 

The narrative was kindly written and supplied by Ken Crick

All featured images were taken by and remain the property of Chris Brooks

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