by Keith Cox

On 25th October 2013, I went out of my house in Morden Road and crossed the road to get to my parked car. As I approached the car I saw a large dragonfly flying towards me. I raised my hand, only for it to land on my car key. Luckily, my wife had her mobile phone on her and I quickly took a photo of it, purely to try to find out what it was. I identified it from photos on the internet as a Vagrant Emperor (Anax ephippiger). The dragonfly is shown in the photo below.

A Vagrant Emperor in Newport in October 2013 by Keith Cox

[This is the first Vagrant Emperor to be recorded in Monmouthshire; the second county record was not to occur until six years later. Vagrant Emperors reaching Britain are thought to originate from sub-Saharan Africa. Autumn 2013 saw a significant influx, with at least 14 individuals being seen throughout Britain. The national Odonata Records Committee published the record in their report for 2012/13 (Parr, Adrian J. (2014) Migrant and dispersive dragonflies in Britain during 2012 and 2013. Journal of the British Dragonfly Society 30(2): 110-124). Steve Preddy]

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