Anax guttatus (Lesser Green Emperor)

Anax guttatus is very widely distributed from India to Japan and Australia and Pacific Ocean Islands. This is an addition to our catalogue from our stopover in Hong Kong, 2017, bound for the Antipodes. As you can see, all the pictures I managed were of ovipositing pairs.

This is one of those Anax species with a blue saddle on S2/3. With the saddle and the dull abdomen, it resembles, to me, a European A. parthenope (Lesser Emperor), which is what I initially thought I was looking at until I noticed that the thorax is apple green, more like a European A. imperator (Emperor Dragonfly/Blue Emperor). A. parthenope has a brown thorax. Confusing stuff since the ranges overlap.

As usual where wide-ranging species are concerned, there are several Common Names associated with A. guttatus, including Pale-spotted Emperor and just Emperor (Singapore). Blue-tailed Green Darner (India) seems particularly dumb given that the only blue on the “tail” is the short saddle. Because A. guttatus seems to resemble a a Lesser Emperor but with a green thorax, I personally prefer the Lesser Green Emperor tag, as does Australia.