Wandering Glider Dragonfly
California Range Map Photo
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Adult Male

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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia -- animal
Phylum: Arthropoda -- arthropods
Class: hexapoda -- insects


Pterygota -- iwinged insects
           Infraclass: Palaeoptera-- wing insects
Superorder: Odonatoptera -- ancient winged insects
    Order: Odonata -- Dragonflies and Damselflies
         Suborder: Anisoptera -- Dragonflies
Family: Libellulidae -- Skimmers
Genus: Pantala
Species: Pantala flavescens
Description:   Diet:
Naiad-This is a medium to large naiad with a length of 15/16 to 1 1/16 inches (24 to 26 mm). It is pale green with light brown markings. There is a large, rear-facing spine on each side of the last abdominal segments, but there are no hooks on the back, as some naiads have.   Naiad-The naiads feed on a wide variety of aquatic insects, such as mosquito larvae, other aquatic fly larvae, mayfly larvae, and freshwater shrimp. They will also eat small fish and tadpoles.
Adult: This is a medium to large dragonfly with a length of 1 3/4 to 2 inches (44 to 50 mm), with a fairly wide abdomen. The thorax and abdomen are orange to brown, and there are no markings. Each hindwing is almost triangular in shape, with the broadest part at the base where it attaches to the body. Adult-The dragonfly eats small flying insects, especially mosquitoes which also use seasonal ponds. They also gather in swarms to feed on flying ants and termites.
size: medium, length 44 - 51 mm, wingspan 81 - 91 mm
Range Information:   Habitat:
This is the world's most widely distributed dragonfly. It occurs worldwide between 400 N and 400 S latitude, and is the only dragonfly with such a large distribution. It is most common in tropical and subtropical regions with highly seasonal rainfall. In Idaho, it occurs at seasonal ponds on the Snake River Plain..   This dragonfly can be found near seasonal ponds.
U. S. Flight Season:   California Flight Period:
It has only been observed to fly in August in Idaho, but it most likely flies over a longer season.   all year in the south, March - December in the north
Ecology:   Reproduction:
The naiad swims actively about in pursuit of prey, an unusual trait for naiads of this family. Because they make little effort to conceal themselves when foraging, the naiads are very vulnerable to predators such as fish. Luckily, the seasonal ponds in which they live rarely contain many fish and the naiads do well. They have voracious appetites and this results in quick maturation (40 to 60 days, depending on water temperature and availability of prey). They emerge as adults synchronously, and the adults migrate using thermals in the atmosphere. In Idaho, the naiads have been observed to emerge in early August, indicating that the migratory adults arrived to breed in June. The adults migrate around the world in search of seasonal ponds to reproduce, traveling hundreds or even thousands of miles. The abdomen of the adult can store large amounts of fat that is used as energy for long-distance travel. Adults have even been seen perching on ships far out at sea. The adult Wandering Glider often forages in large swarms, and one of the most remarkable reports of such a swarm was of a cloud of Wandering Gliders that covered 13 square miles (34 square kilometers)! This is one of the few dragonflies that will remain on the wing during heavy rain, and in India, its arrival is said to herald the coming of the monsoons.   After males and females mate, the female flies with the male attached (in tandem), to lay her eggs, generally in seasonal ponds. However, this dragonfly often mistakes the finishes on shiny new cars for water and lays eggs on them as well, a most unfortunate choice for the hatching naiads.


  Sources :

G1     G2     G3     G4     G5

G5 - Populations are widespread, abundant, and secure.  

All photos 2008 Rick Swartzentrover - Free for non-profit use.

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Global ranks indicate the rarity of a species at a global scale. Species may be fairly common globally but imperiled locally. Global ranks have the following meaning:

  • G1 - Critically Imperiled - At very high risk of extinction due to extreme rarity (often 5 or fewer populations), very steep declines, or other factors.
  • G2 - Imperiled - At high risk of extinction due to very restricted range, very few populations (often 20 or fewer), steep declines, or other factors.
  • G3 - Vulnerable - At moderate risk of extinction due to a restricted range, relatively few populations (often 80 or fewer), recent and widespread declines, or other factors.
  • G4 - Apparently Secure - Uncommon but not rare; some cause for long-term concern due to declines or other factors.
  • G5 - Secure - Common; widespread and abundant.
  • * ? or Q = status unknown or uncertain