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Anax imperator - Emperor dragonfly

Phylum: Arthropoda - Class: Insecta - Order: Odonata - Family: Aeschnidae

Emperor dragonfly

The largest of the hawker dragonflies found in Britain, this is a common species in southern England and Wales.

Left: a female Emperor dragonfly laying eggs in mid summer.

The male (below) has a bright blue body, while the female, seen above laying eggs on emergent vegetation, has a greenish tinge, becoming gradually bluer when old.

A male Emperor dragonfly hunting small insects over a pond in early summer
A male Emperor dragonfly hunting small insects above a pond. This photograph was taken in mid June.

Mainly seen over ponds, canals or slow-flowing streams, this beautiful insect flies for long periods without resting, which makes it a difficult dragonfly to study.


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