Earlier this week, whilst walking on Pevensey Levels, I watched a male Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator) hawking up and down the edge of a maize field looking for prey. It intercepted a bee and then settled on a maize stem to devour its catch.
In the world of insects, the name emperor is usually reserved for those impressive species that turn our heads and grab our attention. Like the Purple Emperor Butterfly (Apatura iris) and the Emperor Moth (Saturnia pavonia), the Emperor Dragonfly is aptly named. It is the largest dragonfly species in Britain and the bright blue abdomen of the male makes it instantly recognisable.
Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator) (male devouring prey)