Emperor Dragonfly - Anax imperator

Photos

Emperor Dragonflies - Anax imperator, rarely seem to settle long enough to get a good photo!

The in flight photos in particular show just how big and powerful the abdomen is, Emperors are easy to identify even from a distance.

  • Emperor Dragonfly - Anax imperator:  A3P1991
    Male, hawking along the waters edge at Felmersham NR
  • Emperor Dragonfly - Anax imperator:  A3P2212
    Female ovipositing at Felmersham NR
  • Emperor Dragonfly - Anax imperator:  A3P2502
    Male, near the Biddenham Country Walk. Despite its tattered wings this particular Emperor was a great flier.
  • Emperor Dragonfly - Anax imperator:  A3P2505
    Male, near Biddenham Country Walk.
  • Emperor Dragonfly - Anax imperator:  A3P3581
    Male, Marston Vale Millennium Country Park
  • Emperor Dragonfly - Anax imperator:  A3P4663
    Male, River Great Ouse, Roxton.
    Large dragonflies often sustain wing damage foraging for food amongst vegetation, or in territorial battles with other dragonflies.
    This male has a large section of wing missing, but was still able to fly without much hindrance.
  • Emperor Dragonfly - Anax imperator:  A3P4775
    Male at Marston Thrift
  • Emperor Dragonfly - Anax imperator:  A3P4818
    Female ovipositing at Marston Thrift
    Although eggs are often laid in submerged vegetation, this isn't always the case, as in this example. When the eggs hatch, the larvae will drop down to the water.
  • Emperor Dragonfly - Anax imperator:  A3P4827
    Female ovipositing at Marston Thrift
  • Emperor Dragonfly - Anax imperator:  A3P4853
    Male, Marston Thrift
  • Emperor Dragonfly - Anax imperator:  A3P4860
    Female ovipositing at Marston Thrift, with a male Common Blue damselfly investigating.
  • Emperor Dragonfly - Anax imperator:  A3P4884
    Female ovipositing at Marston Thrift
  • Emperor Dragonfly - Anax imperator:  A3P4889
    Male,at Marston Thrift
  • Emperor Dragonfly - Anax imperator:  A3P4972
    Male, Marston Thrift
    This photo illustrates well how dragonflies tuck up their legs in flight for aerodynamic advantage, the fore legs behind their head, the others beneath the abdomen.
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Main features.

Classification:

Odonata        
Anisoptera     True dragonflies
  Aeshnidae   Hawkers

The region's largest dragonfly, tireless flier high over the water and along the water's edge.

Males have a blue abdomen with a black longitudinal stripes and a green thorax, females have a green abdomen.

Very territorial, will chase off other odonates.

Habitat

Lakes, large ponds, and slow rivers with with lots of vegetation.

Where to see

Quite common along the River Great Ouse, Felmersham NR, Warren Villas.