Translated from Ecologica & EIS-Nederland in the Netherlands:
August 30, 2012
On Thursday, August 16 an employee of the ecological consultancy organization Ecologica discovered in Budel (Noord-Brabant) a vagrant emperor dragonfly, very rare in the Netherlands. Interestingly enough, a few days later, on 21 August, a few kilometers away another vagrant emperor dragonfly was seen. Before 1995, the vagrant emperor dragonfly was never seen in the Netherlands, and since 1995 only six times. That this species was now observed twice is very remarkable.
The employee of Ecologica saw at a shallow puddle in Budel a dragonfly with a blue spot at the base of the abdomen: a lesser emperor dragonfly. This animal was unfortunately immediately driven away by common emperor dragonflies. Since the lesser emperor dragonfly is still pretty rare and beautiful to look at, the employee decided to wait if it would come back. Some time later there was indeed again at high speed a dragonfly with a blue spot on the abdomen, but this dragonfly made the Ecologica employee rub his eyes: this time it was not a lesser emperor dragonfly, but a vagrant emperor dragonfly! A few days later, on 21 August, in Boukoul (Limburg), about 35 kilometers to the east, another vagrant emperor dragonfly was seen.
Vagrant emperor dragonflies occur mainly in arid parts of Africa and southwestern Asia. In Europe this species presumably reproduces annually along the Mediterranean Sea, but it is certainly not common. In other parts of Europe sometimes there are accidental vagrant emperor dragonflies, in varying numbers. A good year was 1995 when the species was reported in no less than 14 countries including even Iceland, where usually no dragonflies occur.
In the Netherlands, in that year the species was found for the first time … yes, just like this year, in Budel!