Black Emperor, Anax tristis, Swartkeiser  

119 039 Black Emporer female I5A3156

Anax tristis Black Emperor Male

 Anax tristis Black Emperor

Short description:

Black Emperor Anax tristis Swartkeiser is very large sized, green thorax and mostly black abdomen with cream spots on the side and a distinctive cream ring at the base of abdomen.

Family Aeshnidae Leach, 1815

Also known as Magnificent Emperor

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Key identification features:

Male:

  • Face all light to greenish blue with blackish basal triangle on top of frons.
  • Eyes bright blue above, greenish blue below.
  • Thorax green with two turquoise green patches between wings.
  • Wings clear becoming  slightly smoky particularly in central areas, dark brown spot beside membranule. Pterostigmas long (5 mm), reddish brown.
  • Abdomen and appendages mostly black. Segment 1 with cream dorsal patch, segment 2 with wide cream ring running all the way around. Segments 4 to 9 with small cream spots above. Segment 10 black.

Female:

  • Similar to male but stouter, shorter, appendages shorter and leaf-like, wings generally fairly smoky
  • Face with yellow and green with black dot on upper surface of nose
  • Eyes olive, thorax light to mid green
  • Wings slightly smoky becoming smoky with age, pterostigmas long (5 mm) and reddish brown, segment 1 yellowish green, segment 2 mostly pale blue, segment 3 pale blue below, majority of rest of abdomen dark brown with some light greenish to blue patches on sides.
Habitat:
  • Frequents pools, small dams and waterholes in open or savanna areas. Such pools and swamps may be without water weed or fringing vegetation.
  • From 0 to 2100 m above sea level, but mostly below 1600.
Behaviour:
  • Flies low at great speed or unhurried, drifting low and slowly across and around pools. Sometimes cruises at tree top level.
Compared with other species:
  • Unmistakable due to size and markings.
  • The largest Emperor in South Africa.
Related Species
Distribution:

Anax tristis Black Emperor Distribution Map May 2020Distribution Map South Africa

South Africa Physical MapPhysical Map
South Africa

Political map South africa Political map
South africa

Anax tristis Black Emperor Africa Distribution Map Oct 2021Distribution Map
Africa

Physical Map AFrica Physical Map
AFrica

Political Map Africa Political Map
Africa

 

 

 South Africa:

  •  Black Emperor Anax tristis Swartkeiser is found in the warm northern and eastern areas of South Africa.

Africa:

  • Angola; Benin; Botswana; Burundi; Côte d'Ivoire; Cameroon; Cape Verde; Central African Republic; Chad; Congo-Brazzaville; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Equatorial Guinea; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Kenya; Liberia; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; Nigeria; Republic of South Africa; Rwanda; Sudan;Tanzania; Togo; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe;
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