The Emperor Dragonfly is the largest dragonfly in the UK. Above is a male, showing the blue eyes, enamelled thorax, blue body with black centreline and anal claspers.
The first photo above left shows an Emperor Dragonfly, a fearsome predator of the insect world, emerging from its nymph exuvia.
Emerging from the cramped shell and straightening out is a slow process. The second picture, above right, shows that a quick spider has immobilised the Emperor with web at strategic points.
The female Emperor (Empress) is greener and less brightly-coloured. Here she is seen "ovipositing" -- laying her eggs
on the underside of water plants.
Female Emperor reflecting -- on where to lay eggs
Size comparison: Female Emperor with male Scarlet Darter
Emperor Dragonfly with exuvia