Warwickshire Dragonfly Group

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Emperor dragonfly Anax imperator

Lesser Emperor dragonfly Anax parthenope

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The first county sighting for this increasingly common U.K. migrant species was made by Mike Inskip on 15th July 2011 near Morton Bagot. He saw a single male hawking that eventually perched to feed on a moth. This allowed close examination of the individual. It eventually flew off and was not seen again. There was another sighting in the Midlands on the previous day in Staffordshire suggesting it was part of a wider influx.

A second sighting was made on 6th August 2013 once again by Mike Inskip. He reported a male specimen at Morton Bagot. This is particularly remarkable for in July 2011 Mike made the First County Record for the species less than 2 miles from this sighting.

The following day Kay and Peter Reeve joined Mike for a revisit to the site and were treated to many views of the insect patrolling the pool. It flew about 2 feet above the water along a triangular course, about 100 to 200 feet along two banks following a corner and completing the triangle across the open water. When following the pool edge it flew from about 3 or 4 feet to 10 to 20 feet from the bank. It continued its patrolling for about half-an-hour.

It is interesting to note it left when an Emperor Dragonfly took over its space. It is said that Emperor Dragonflies will drive Lesser Emperors away ("Field Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Great Britain and Ireland", Steve Brooks, ed.) though we saw no interaction between them.

It was flying very fast and was very difficult to photograph. The image on this page shows the very distinctive bright blue saddle and green eyes.


Banner artwork by Joan Sharrett

Last updated Wed Jul 16 17:15:56 2014

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Hairy dragonfly Brachytron pratense