Monday, 19 June 2017
An audience with the emperor
I went back to Banks' Pond on Saturday, hoping to see an emperor dragonfly (Anax imperator) for the first time this year. There were several flying but they were resting for only a second or two and too far away, making it very difficult to get a photo. These were about the best I could manage.
While there I had the pleasure of meeting John Atkinson, the Sedgedunum Warbler. As it was hot and the dragonflies weren't settling we gave up and I planned to return the next day.
Although I got there early yesterday, it was already hot and the emperors were on the wing when I arrived. However, even they get tired and at last a few settled (briefly) within range of the camera.
Emperors eat other dragonflies and damselflies so this male azure damselfly was really chancing his luck.
I saw only one female ovipositing out in the middle of the pond, rather out of range of my lens.
As I left I came across this slightly battered individual. He has obviously been in the wars, with damage to both front wings. Life for a male emperor dragonfly is short and intense, mostly fighting off rivals and chasing females.