During my net dipping sessions over the weekend, it was pleasing to be able to net a few Emperor Dragonfly nymphs of varying sizes. They ranged from the small stripy patterned nymphs through to the fully grown nymph which when placed next to each other, really demonstrated the size of this impressive nymph. Having reared a few Emperor nymphs over the past few years, they will eat almost anything and must rate as one of the top predators under the water. I remember observing a near fully grown individual attack and eat one of nearly the same size last year. Such is there appetite, they will take on their own kind. It was interesting to read that to avoid being predated by their own kind, the different sized nymphs operate on different plants and different depths, thus, hopefully avoiding each other. Having observed them at the weekend in the trays before releasing back into the water, I took a few photos which really didn't come out too well but knew I had a few files from last winter which had some photos I had not published before. Having found a few photos, I set about editing a few images which hopefully show off this species shape, features and markings well. Hopefully I can continue to seek out new dykes and ditches in the forthcoming weeks to monitor and see what species of dragonfly and damselfly nymph occur nearby.
Emperor Dragonfly Nymph