Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A worldwide community photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Australian Emperor

Hemianax papuensis


The Australian Emperor is "a very large dragonfly, up to 70 mm long. Its abdomen is marked boldly in black and yellow. The thorax is greenish-grey. The head is yellow with a T-shaped mark on the forehead (frons). The eyes are yellow-green. The leading edges of the wings are yellow. The insect habitually hunts fairly slowly, patrolling up and down like other hawkers, with short bursts at high speed. Their wingspan is 11cm (4.3 in). Males and females are similar." (Wiki)


Check out this little video of the female depositing her eggs in the water of the Long Trough near the Prison Boab Tree:


Thank you to the Curator of Entomology at Western Australian Museum for the identification and following information: "The male is indeed on top, and the female is on the bottom attaching her eggs to vegetation below the water surface. I don’t think either of them guards the eggs, however the males do guard territories, and chase away any other males that come into their zone. In any case, there’s not much a dragonfly could do to protect the eggs from a fish, which is the most likely predator that would go for the eggs." Here is some interesting info from Wikipedia: "The Australian emperor is notable as the dragonfly in which motion camouflage was studied by Mizutani et al.: males of Anax papuensis are fiercely territorial, and approach and attack rivals, the males choose a flight path that keeps their image as seen by the target still with respect to a landmark point. The attacking dragonfly thus looms larger in the target's eyes, but otherwise does not seem to move until it is very close. The males are very protective of their females. In case of intrusion of another individual, he will drive it away by engaging in a series of noisy air battles. Females lay their eggs under water."

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID

No Comments

Spotted by

Western Australia, Australia

Spotted on Feb 27, 2016
Submitted on Oct 8, 2016

Related Spottings

The Vagrant Emperor Australian Emperor Common Darter Dragon Fly

Nearby Spottings

Mistletoebird (female) Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (female) Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (male) Red-winged Parrot
Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team