Emperor Dragonfly (Wild Animals by Papo)

Today I am continuing the 2020 Papo arthropods with the emperor dragonfly, Anax imperator, a species distributed throughout much of Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and west-central Asia. Anax imperator belongs to the family Aeshnidae, which includes the green darner (A. junius), which is common here in North America and is the more-commonly made species of the two. Like other dragonflies, they live near bodies of water in which their aquatic immatures develop. Emperors, like all odonates, are skilled aerial predators, catching prey insects on-the-wing.

The figure has a wingspan of 10.0 cm and a body length of 6.0 cm, making it slightly smaller than 1:1 for an average specimen (or within 1:1 for a small specimen). Of all the 2020 Papo insects reviewed so far, this one is by far the best. The detail is spectacular and the paint job is very good and appears very accurate. The thorax is green with copper-brown highlights. The abdomen is blue with black markings. The eyes are blue, with a little copper and black as if to show reflections. Based on the color, this figure appears to be a male specimen.

What is most spectacular is the wing venation. I did not verify every single vein, but from what I can tell the wing venation is accurate!! And it’s every so slightly three-dimensional, with raised areas on each vein (in other words, not just painted or printed on). Makes me wonder if an actual specimen was used as a template.

For a rarely-made species, you can’t go wrong with this figure. And it’s not so big as to not take up too much space. The only other two figures of this species I am aware of are by Bullyland and 4D Master, both quite large and the latter requiring substantial assembly. Of the three 2020 Papo insects I have reviewed to date, this one comes most recommended.

Well, that is it for now for the Papo 2020 arthropods and invertebrates. I am still waiting for the honey bee, grasshopper, and Roman (edible) snail to be available in the U.S.

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