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The Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator) or Blue Emperor Dragonfly is of the family Aeshnidae which is in the genus Anax. This large and powerful species is a voracious predator of other flying insects. Prey items including medium sized dragonflies, damselflies, butterflies and other flying invertebrates are captured on the wing but it tends to avoid predating bees, wasps and hard shelled flying insects such as beetles. Probably as a result of climate change, in the last 20 years or so it has greatly expanded its range north ward. Now relatively common throughout the Western Palearctic, excluding Iceland and the vast majority of Scandinavia. In the Eastern Atlantic it occurs on all the Macaronesian Islands. The first report for Ireland was from Co. Wexford in August 2000.
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds