Posted by: Ross Gardner | July 13, 2011

Emperor Again

Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator) - male. Copyright 2011 Ross Gardner

Following on from the last post about the Emporer Dragonfly, I had to add a bit more on the subject.

The day after posting that article.  I managed to snap the above picture at Meadowfield.  I don’t know how often, with camera poised, I’ve watched one of these brightly coloured males, twisting and turning over a pond, slowing tantalisingly, as if just about to land on the fringing plants, but always dashing off and out of range.  Well, this time it slowed up and did land on the club-rush that fills the water opposite the dipping platform.  There was still a good metre and a half between the two of us, but it was an opportunity not to be missed.

The creature in the picture may well be the very same one I saw the other day with Small Tortoiseshell wings hanging from its jaws; we all love our butterflies, but everything’s got to eat!  However, easily the most the impressive piece of predator/prey action I have personally seen has to be the Emperor I once saw, which swooped down right in front of me to pluck a Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa) out of the air.  Very impressive, especially as the Chaser is not a small dragonfly by any stretch and an insect itself, of formidable agility and reflexes.

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