Dragonfly species in Monmouthshire: Vagrant Emperor

Distribution map of Vagrant Emperor in Monmouthshire, April 2023
Distribution map of Vagrant Emperor in Monmouthshire, April 2023, produced using the DMAP for Windows software written by Alan Morton, www.dmap.co.uk

Vagrant Emperor (Anax ephippiger) has been recorded three times in Monmouthshire.

1. In Morden Road, Newport, on 25 October 2013, found by Keith Cox. Keith’s write-up of his find can be read here.

2. At Redhouse Barns on the Gwent Levels, from 3 to 12 October 2019, found by Kevin Dupé, written up by Kevin here.

3. At Aberbeeg hospital, on 18 September 2020; Simon Bazeley’s finder’s account is here.

Vagrant Emperor is a dragonfly which is common across northern parts of Africa and the Middle East. It regularly disperses away from this area, north into Europe (even having occurred as far north as Iceland). There has been a marked increase in records in Britain in the 21st century. The three county records are all from the autumn, but elsewhere in Britain it has occurred in the winter and early spring, when no other dragonflies are on the wing.