Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope)
Species
Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope). Male. Taken at Valchi Dol, Bulgaria, on June 20th 2014.
Male. Taken at Valchi Dol, Bulgaria, on June 20th 2014.
(1/100th sec at f10. Approx 1.1x lifesize. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)

Description

Wingspan: 88 - 102mm; Length : 62 - 75mm

A large, rather dull aeshnid. Its drab colouring makes the greenish eyes and blue saddle of the male particularly striking. Females are usually duller, but can also be blueish.

It is common in the Mediterranean counties, and scarcer further north. It is a rare vagrant in the British Isles, but has bred here.

It prefers standing, often larger, waters.

Eggs are laid while in tandem, into the stems of aquatic vegetation. Larve emerge after two years. The main flight period is June to August.

The Lesser Emperor is a less powerful flier than the Emperor Dragonfly, which is dominant and frequently drives it off.

Sightings

24-Jun-2014 : Mesta River fishponds, Bulgaria
20-Jun-2014 : Valchi Dol, Bulgaria
25-Jun-2010 : The Brenne, Loire Valley, France