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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

01 July, 2012

Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator)

The Emperors' new clothes ... but this Emperor looks splended in his birthday suit! Our most impressive dragonfly, the biggest and most beautiful, must surely be the Emperor; whoever named it certainly chose well. Some years they seem quite scarce, other years almost common. Quite often they are confused with the Southern Hawker which is also a blue colour but once you have seen the Emperor I doubt you ever forget it. Look out for them from June to September although they do seem more common later in the year.

They are very active dragonflies, constantly patrolling their territory and will see off any intruder, be it another Emperor or any other species for that matter. What he really is looking for is, of course, a mate and does not want any competition should a female come his way. They rarely seem to settle and you need to keep a constant eye on them and wait for some time before they go to ground and you get the chance to take a closer look. You rarely see an Emperor away from fresh water, be that a pond, lake, river, gravel pit or canal; its is where they hunt for food and where the females will lay their eggs.
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Find out more about the Emperor Dragonfly in Dorset here: www.natureofdorset.co.uk/species_panel/Emperor%20Dragonfl...