Blue emperor. Bloukeiser.
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Key identification features:
- Face light to greenish blue. Nose with transverse dark s udge above, black basal spot. Top of head greenish blue.
- Eyes bright blue above, greenish blue below.
- Thorax green with two turquoise green patches between wings.
- 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.
- 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:
- Unmistakable colour markings.
- Blue Emperor A. imperator Male primarily blue.
- Black Emperor A. tristis is has black abdomen with Greenish thorax.
- Orange Emperer A. speratus is primarily orange.
- Vagrant emperer A. ephippiger is yellowish mustard colour
Distribution and habitat:
- Widespread and common throughout South Africa.
- Mostly frequents pools and dams with an abundance of waterweed, lilies and fringing reeds.
- Hawks rapidly up and down above the water surface.