Hemianax ephippiger | Vagrant Emperor | Impire Fánach



Conservation status

Ireland: Not Assessed

EU: Least Concern

Native status

Vagrant / never established 

Species Biology


Length: 63mm                                                                                                                                                                                         

Wingspan: 100mm                                                                                                                                                                                

Medium to large, pale, sandy brown dragonfly. They have brown eyes and the males have a violet coloured “saddle” near the base of their abdomen which is either absent or less conspicuous in females. The costa (line along the top of the wing) is yellow and the pterostigma is long and brown.  There are yellow paired spots on the last three segments of the abdomen. 

Adult habitat & habits

They are compulsive migrant species


Prefers water bodies that higher temperatures, limited vegetation and no fish or other higher predators. They typically breed in shallow and often temporary pools. The larvae can tolerate salinity levels of a considerable degree. 

Flight period

Any time of year, particularly July to December

Life cycle

Very rapid life cycle. Larvae complete development sometimes in two months.


World distribution(GBIF)

Irish distribution

Very rare in Ireland with only a few recordings in the south coast. 

Temporal change

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2024

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