Anax imperator | Emperor Dragonfly | Impire Gorm



Conservation status

Ireland: Least Concern

EU: Least Concern

Common, and spreading towards the northwest.

Native status


Species Biology


Length: 7.8cm                                                                                                                                                                                          

Wingspan: 10.6cm                                                                                                                                          

Males have a light, sky blue abdomen with a black line running down the centre of the dorsal side and greenish-blue eyes. Females have a yellow abdomen with similar markings and browner eyes. Black stripe on abdomen. Costa is bright yellow and pterostigma is brown on both. Both have an apple-green thorax.

Females resemble males but have a green rather than blue abdomen.

Adult habitat & habits

Very active dragonflies, they catch and eat their prey whilst in the air.  Actively hunts over medium to large bodies of water and rarely settles.


Found in areas with high volumes of pondweed, and other aquatic plants. Rarely seen far from aquatic habitats. Found in slow-moving/still water bodies e.g. lakes, ponds, canals, rivers, ditches etc. 

Flight period

May to September (occasionally April, October and/or November)


World distribution(GBIF)

Irish distribution

First appeared in Wexford in 2000, started to spread to the east and south coast with a few records in the midlands. Common in South and east of Ireland. Distribution spreading to the Northwest.

Temporal change

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2021

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