102 538 jong wyfie vagrant kosii 119 535 Vagrant emperor male I5A8166 119 532A Vagrant emperor female I5A8024

 Vagrant Emperor.     Blourugkeiser

(Burmeister, 1839)

Link to our photo gallery
Images in nature of the Vagrant Emperor.
Close-up for identification assistance.
Teneral female

Short description:

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

Behaviour:

Hawks rapidly and very close to water surface.

Further reading:
 
Distribution Map

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. 116
Dragonflies and Damselflies of Namibia ... p. 157

Websites
Warwick Tarboton
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
Cornish Nature
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species     (Least Concern)
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 664120
African Dragonflies& Damselflies Online

Other Information
Size Comparison Diagram: Dragonflies and Damselflies

Morphology of a Dragonfly Sketch 1Sketch 2 and Damselfly
Map of South Africa

We are Renovating.

We are extensively revising the contents of the site to improve readability.
Images are now larger and linked to popups.
Guides to assist with identification of groups of species.
Distribution maps are live and is updates when article is opened.
About 2500 images are now on the data base.

 

Our Goal

To raise awareness of Dragonflies and Damselflies in southern Africa.

We recognise that Dragonflies and Damselflies change colour with age and due to sexual dimorphism. We strive to show as wide a variety of photos of as many species possible to assist with the identification of a species

Buy Photos

Most photos are for sale.
If you are interested,
please Contact Us

The Website's Links

Damselflies -  A list  Damselflies with information & images of each species. Read more

Dragonflies -  A list  Dragonflies with information & images of each species. Read more

Images -  A showcase of images of each species. Read more

Photographers - A Photographer of Dragonflies & Damselflies photo showcase. Read more

Info -  Interesting Articles, Books & Links regarding Dragonflies & Damselflies. Read more

Contact -  Do you want to buy a photo; add your photos to this website; have a questions, contact us. Read more

X

Right Click

Copyrighted material - contact us if you want to buy a photo