Emperor dragonfly

The UK’s largest dragonfly and one of the first hawkers on the wing, usually in late spring. Large ponds are preferred for breeding, and hence it is mostly the larger garden ponds that are colonised. Males are always blue, females green but can be blue as in the photo. Both sexes have a distinct black line down the centre of the back. Larvae (“nymphs”) are voracious predators of tadpoles and smaller invertebrates. Here a female is laying eggs by inserting them under the leaf of a plant on the pond surface.

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