Wandering Glider AKA Globetrotter Dragonfly (Pantala flavescens)

Pricing: Dead (spread, as pictured): $20-$30 depending on quality.
Geographic Range: Almost Worldwide
View: Top View  Sex: Female

Image Copyright 2003
Barbara Strnadova

Pantala flavescens has been called the Globetrotter for no small reason. It is an incredible migrant, compelled to disperse itself as far as it can from the waters where it was born. Under the power of its own flight, and chance encounters with monsoon winds, it has managed to set out from its native Asia and colonize Europe, Africa, Australia and both North and South America. These dragonflies were one of the first insects to re-colonize Bikini Atoll after the cessation of atomic bomb testing there. The population that reached Easter Island in the remote Pacific apparently has now lost the power of dispersal. This may be due to the scarcity of food on the island. It would seem that as a result of this dearth of prey items, larvae can build up enough stored fat to complete metamorphosis but not enough to leave the island. P. flavescens gather in small swarms in open clearings, sometimes far from water, with both sexes mixing with other species of Libellulid dragonflies. When they do reach water, the dragonflies pair off for copulation. Females later deposit eggs singly amongst waterlillies. The larvae develop quickly, which allows P. flavescens to take advantage of temporary water sources.