Emperor Dragonfly
Anax Imperator

The Emperor is one of the largest and most spectacular of the dragonfly species in the New Forest.

Females can often be disturbed from foliage in neighboring areas to the pond, and if approached with caution will allow the photographer to get quite close. Males, however are less forgiving, and while occasionally taking a rest from their patrol, will rarely let a spectator get within 5 feet of them.

Copulation (about 10 mins) takes place away from the water usually in long grass or in a neighboring tree.

Females can also often be seen ovipositing (egg laying) on small lilly pads in the centre of the pond, during which time the male will usually patrol and ward of threats from overhead.

   
locations media gallery

Males can often be seen patrolling about 3-5 feet above the water s surface of still bodies of water, and can be found on most of the larger forest ponds, including Hatchet Small Pond, Whitten Pond, Slufters Pond.

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seasonal appearance distinguishing features

Males have a long downturned sky blue abdomen, with lateral black linear markings, the thorax is thick with a vivid green colouration. The female is similar in shape and size, with a browny green colouration on the abdomen replacing the blue of the male.