Description

Britain’s bulkiest Dragonfly.

Male: Sky blue abdomen with a central dark line.

Female: Green abdomen with a central dark line. Occasionally appears with a blue abdomen.

 

 

Click on an image to enlarge it.

Where to See

Latin NameAnax imperator
Habitat

Mostly associated with large, well vegetated ponds and lakes, but may be found over canals and slow moving rivers.

The female lays her eggs, alone, in floating pondweed.

Status & Distribution

Widespread in southern England and southern Wales; increasing its range northwards.

Recently appeared in Ireland.

Similar Species

May be confused with other Hawkers.

Can be differentiated by its:

  • Large size
  • Drooping abdomen (in flight)
  • Bright blue and green colouration.

 

Species GroupDragonflies
Identification Notes
  • Length: 78mm
  • Bright yellow costa (leading wing vein).
  • Apple-green thorax.
  • Green or blue eyes.
  • Central dark line down the abdomen.
  • Male: Blue abdomen.
  • Female: Green abdomen. Occasionally blue.
  • Males very territorial.
  • It rarely settles, even eating its prey in flight.
  • They often fly with the rear of the abdomen bent slightly downwards.
Flight PeriodEmperor Dragonfly
Larval Information

Same body-shape as Hawkers- long and streamlined.

Emperors have the largest larvae: 45-56mm

Eyes are large and rounded.

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