117 507 Anax imperator Blue Emperor 102 523 Female Anac imperator Blue emperor Moreleta kloof 108 522 Anax imperator Blue Emperor Male Somerset West Western Cape 17 12 2015

 Blue emperor.     Bloukeiser.

More Images:
 Image  Male  Female
100 512 Anax imperator Blue emperor Male Kimberley NCP RSA Apr 2015r 2 100 2647 Anax Imperator Blue Emperor Nylsvlei LP RSA Apr 2016r 1 124 505 Anax Imperator Blue Emperor Female Port Elizabeth ECP RSA Apr 2016f 1
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Short description:

Blue Emperor, Anax Imperator, Genus Anax, Family Aeshnidae, large to very large sized, has a bright blue abdomen with brown markings on the upper side and a green thorax.

Key identification features:

Male:

  • Face light to greenish blue. Nose with transverse dark s udge above, black basal spot. Top of head greenish blue. 100 2651 Anax Imperator Blue Emperor Nylsvlei LP RSA Apr 2016r 23  100 2650 Anax Imperator Blue Emperor Nylsvlei LP RSA Apr 2016r 15
  • Eyes bright blue above, greenish blue below.100 2651 Anax Imperator Blue Emperor Nylsvlei LP RSA Apr 2016r 23 100 2650 Anax Imperator Blue Emperor Nylsvlei LP RSA Apr 2016r 15
  • Thorax green with two turquoise green patches between wings. 100 2648 Anax Imperator Blue Emperor Nylsvlei LP RSA Apr 2016r 13   100 2650 Anax Imperator Blue Emperor Nylsvlei LP RSA Apr 2016r 15  100 2649 Anax Imperator Blue Emperor Nylsvlei LP RSA Apr 2016r 11
  • Wings clear, becoming smoky with age, veins brown. Pterostigmas long (4.8–5.0 mm), reddish brown.
  • Abdomen bright blue with variable wide black line running along top. 100 2652 Anax Imperator Blue Emperor Nylsvlei LP RSA Apr 2016r 28  100 2653 Anax Imperator Blue Emperor Nylsvlei LP RSA Apr 2016r 33

Female: 124 505 Anax Imperator Blue Emperor Female Port Elizabeth ECP RSA Apr 2016f 1

  • Face yellow and green face, with black dot on dorsal surface of frons.
  • Eyes are olive green.
  • Thorax light to mid green
  • Wings are very smoky in old individuals. Pterostigmas are long (5 mm) and reddish brown.
  • Abdomen S1 is yellowish green. S2 is mostly pale, light blue. S3 pale blue below. Rest of abdomen chocolate brown.
Compared with other species:
Distribution and habitat:
  • Widespread and common throughout South Africa.
  • Mostly frequents pools and dams with an abundance of waterweed, lilies and fringing reeds.
Behaviour:
  • Hawks rapidly up and down above the water surface.
Further reading and information:
Blue Emperor (Anax imperator) Books
The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Eastern Africa ... p. 92
A Field guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa 
... p. 112
Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa
... p. 117
Dragonfly Biotic Index
... P. 108

Websites
Warwick Tarboton
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
Arkive
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 664140
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Least Concern

African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online
Other Information:
Size Comparison Diagram: Dragonflies and Damselflies
Morphology of a Dragonfly, Damselfly
Map of South Africa


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