Female Emperor (Anax Imperator) with Reflection, Ovipositing on Littleworth Common
Littleworth Common in Esher, Surrey has only been established as a nature reserve suitable for dragonflies for a few years, but it has been very successful and most notably for a vibrant colony of Emperors. This fastest and most aggressive species of dragonfly is a marker of success as it preys on a variety of insects, including smaller dragonflies. The females have a small blade at the end of their abdomen, with which they cut a slit in sub-surface vegetation and deposit the rice-grain like eggs into the hollow stems. These will later sink to the bottom of the pond, where the nymphs will live for a few years, before emerging for their brief life as the top dragonflies.