Migration of Wandering Gliders – The Licking News


By Shari Harris, Editor

Locally, many have noticed an abundance of dragonflies over the past few days. Montauk State Park has identified the species as wandering gliders (Pantala flavescens) on their Facebook page. Over 326 species of dragonflies can be found in North America. Of these, 16 are known to migrate, with the main migrants being the common green darner, wandering glider, spotted-winged glider, black saddlebags and variegated buzzard.

Migrations are observed in late summer or early fall and occur on all continents except Antarctica. In North America, dragonflies travel south to Mexico or the West Indies from Canada and pass through the United States en route. The northward migration begins in early spring and is less noticeable.

Wandering gliders can travel up to 4,400 miles, distances well beyond those of the famous monarch butterfly migrations, which can reach 2,500 miles. Some are known to fly across the Indian Ocean from Asia to Africa without stopping.

Researchers continue to study these small insects with astonishing abilities to move. As they travel through our area, it is interesting to think about how far they have traveled and how far they will travel to reach their destination.


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