Vagrant Emperor. Blourugkeiser
Vagrant Emperor, Anax ephippiger, Genus Anax Family Aeshnidae,is large to very large, stout, sand-coloured to greenish-brown with very large blue abdominal saddle (male). Slightly- to very smoky pointed wings.
Key identification features:
The abdomen is brown with a blue saddle on the upper side of segment 2. A black dorsal line extends down the abdomen and gets broader on segments 8-10, resulting in the appearance of paired brown spots. The eyes and thorax are brown with a yellow green lower half and 2 distinctive black bars are present on the frons. The appendages are broad and distinctively pointed.
Females are darker in colour and the blue saddle on segment 2 is far less obvious appearing as a violet shade. The appendages are broad and distinctively pointed.
Compared with other species:
Unmistakable due to size and markings. Unlike other South African Aeshnids, tandem pairs are common. Smallest of the Emperor group.
Distribution and habitat:
Found in the eastern higher rainfall areas of South Africa. Recently recorded in the Westen Cape and Northern Cape Provinces of South Africa. Due to the habit of being in flight most of the time distribution data, created by photographic evidence, is limited
A wide-ranging migrant. It mates and breeds in shallow, flooded, grassy pools, standing and mostly temporary waters in open landscapes often fringing larger pools,. Often with emergent vegetation. From 0 to 2100 m above sea level, but mostly at lower elevations, although possibly up to 2900
Hawks rapidly and very close to water surface.