Anax ephippiger (Vagrant Emperor)

A single lucky encounter for me in 2015. I was watching several Lesser Emperors (Anax parthenope) over a river in Jalón, Spain, when a pair began ovipositing in front of me. They turned out to be not Lesser Emperors but this pair of Vagrant Emperors.

Speaking now from personal experience, it is quite easy to confuse A. parthenope and A. ephippiger since both males have a distinctive “blue saddle” at S2. Eye colour and the pattern of the thorax side distinguish them, though.

Id Notes

  • brown eyes (A. parthenope has green eyes)
  • ♂ blue saddle on S2 (does not extend into S3 as in A. parthenope)
  • ♂ 2-tone side of thorax, split horizontally, brown above, greenish-yellow below
  • ♂ pairs of pale brown spots on S8-10
ovipositing