Vagrant Emperor

Anax ephippiger

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Length: 63mm

Flight period: erratically occurs in the UK, appearing at any time of year. The species' appearance is often associated with the arrival of winds from the Sahara. 

Formerly Hemianax ephippiger.  This medium-sized hawker has an overall pale brown appearance and brown eyes. The costa is yellow and the pterostigma is long and brown.

The top of S2 is blue in the male whereas it is brownish-violet in the female and immatures.


Breeds in small ponds and marshes and can tolerate brackish conditions.

Status & Distribution

Rare migrant from sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. It is a well known long-distance migrant, and may occasionally appear even in winter.

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Similar species

The brown colouration distinguishes it from the Lesser Emperor.