Scientific Name: Anax imperator. (Aeshnidae.)
English Name: Blue Emperor or Emperor Dragonfly. (Hawker family.)
French Name: L'Anax empereur (='emperor dragonfly').
5 Key Characters:
- the largest dragonfly you will see here.
- plain apple green thorax.
- males have blue abdomens, females green (sometimes blue), both with a black central stripe.
- blue green eyes.
- abdomen on patrolling males curves down somewhat.
Lookalikes: Other Anax spp, which are browner and much rarer. Hawker Aeshna spp, which are smaller.
Habitat: Still permanent water bodies, especially if large expanses and well vegetated. A mainly lowland species. Males incessantly patrol territories over the water, and sometimes well away from the water. They hunt and eat other dragonflies, even as big as Broad-bodied Chasers Libellula depressa and Four-spotted Chasers Libellula quadrimaculata. Females lay eggs alone and unprotected by the male in floating vegetation.
Flight Period: May-June-July-August-September. They usually emerge (ie transform from a larva to an adult) on hot nights. The adults have a lifespan of 2 - 3 weeks.
Status: Very common. A species that is expanding its range to the north with climate change.
Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:
|Female consuming a Flesh Fly Sarcophagidae in a wheat field.|