Scientific name: Anax imperator
Size: Wingspan up to 110mm. Length up to 80mm
Distribution: Found in England and Wales, more frequently in the south
Months seen: Late May to early September
Life Span: Approximately 2 years, most of which is spent in the aquatic larval stage
Habitat: Slow moving rivers, ponds and lakes with plenty of aquatic vegetation
Food: Insects (which are caught on the wing)
Special features: Emperor Dragonflies are one of the largest dragonflies in Europe, and one of the fastest fliers. They tend to hover, high above the water in a very regal fashion, before launching themselves like an arrow at their prey. They're most active at midday.
The abdomen of the male Emperor Dragonfly is bright blue with a bold black line running along the top. The thorax is a bright green colour. The female Emperor Dragonfly (Empress?) has a greenish abdomen, and juveniles have a yellow-brown abdomen.