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Grote Keizerlibel - Emperor Dragonfly

Anax imperator


The Emperor Dragonfly is a large species of dragonfly that is quite common in the Netherlands. It is a species of Hawker dragonfly ('Glazenmaker') and they are active from mid May until October, with their most active time being between June and August. -Appearance- They can reach a size of about 8 cm (~3.1 in). In both sexes, the legs are dark brown with no markings, the wings are clear with no markings and the thorax and head are mainly apple green. However full-grown males have a blue abdomen and blue eyes, while the females are apple green all over. Most notable determination mark is the uninterrupted, black dorsal stripe on the abdomen (seen clearly in the picture). The dragonfly in the picture was most likely a female, because the eyes were a very sharp apple green and the abdomen was much greener than it appears on the picture. -Behaviour- They mate in trees, after which the female descends to the water surface to lay her eggs amongst the water vegetation. The male is highly territorial and can often be seen patrolling above the water and near the water's edge. Prey is caught either in the air or near the water's surface. Small prey is eaten in flight.


These dragonflies need stagnant water with lots of water vegetation in it, but they are not dependent on a specific species of water plant. However, they prefer a sandy soil.


My apologies for the poor quality of the picture. We found this little lady sitting in the middle of the side walk before we went for our lunch-break stroll. I put her on a nearby bush, but she was hardly moving any more. When we came back, she was again sitting in the middle of the side walk. I then pestered my colleague to at least take a picture with his phone of this beautiful dragonfly so I could look op the name and share it with everyone here. I guess she was either sick or 'done for' after having laid her eggs.

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Spotted by

Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands

Spotted on May 22, 2014
Submitted on May 22, 2014

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