Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator)Shorebirds of Ireland with Jim Wilson. www.markcarmodyphotography.comThe biggest dragonflies found in Ireland are the Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator) which are between 7 and 8cm (3-3.5 inches) long. Emperor Dragonflies are spreading into Ireland due to population expansion in Europe and changing climate. The Emperor Dragonfly was first recorded in Ireland as recently as 2000. Males have a sky blue abdomen marked with a diagnostic black dorsal stripe and an apple green thorax (as shown above). Females have a green thorax and abdomen. The male is highly territorial, and difficult to approach. The species lives by larger ponds, gravel pits, and slow rivers. Taken with a 500mm lens handheld at Kilkeran Lake, West Cork.