Emperor Dragonfly, Anax imperator

The emperor dragonfly (Anax imperator), also known as the blue emperor, is a species of dragonfly that can be found in Europe, Asia, and Africa. It can be found near gravel pits, ponds, and slow moving rivers and reaches an average body length of 3.1 inches. Males are blue in color with black markings occurring along the back and a thorax that is green in color, while females are green in color. This species flies at high altitudes in search food, consuming a number of insects including butterflies and four-spotted chasers, but it will also feed on tadpoles. Males are territorial and after breeding, females will lay their eggs on the surfaces of protective plants like pondweed. The emperor dragonfly appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Least Concern.â€

Image Caption: Male Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator) in Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, Spain. Credit: Quartl/Wikipedia (CC BY 3.0)