Wandering Glider dragonfly (male)

The following photographs show a Wandering Glider dragonfly (Pantala flavescens) spotted near the end of the boardwalk at Huntley Meadows Park on 23 September 2014. This individual is a male, based upon the following description.

Male: Eyes reddish; face orange. Thorax and abdomen yellow, upper part of abdomen orange. Darker orange median line on abdomen, expanded on each segment and forming black spots toward rear, on S8–10. Cerci black, obviously pale at base. Source Credit: Paulson, Dennis (2011-12-19). Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East (Princeton Field Guides) (Kindle Locations 11282-11283). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.

Remember that “S8-10″ refers to abdominal segments eight through 10 (of 10), numbered from front to back.

It is uncommon to see the broad-winged skimmers from the genus Pantala perching. Dragonflies are classified as either “fliers” or “perchers,” based upon their feeding habits. Wandering Gliders are fliers. I was fortunate to be able to “work the shot” when this guy landed for a long rest during the afternoon!

Wandering Glider dragonfly (male)

Wandering Glider dragonfly (male)

Wandering Glider dragonfly (male)

Wandering Glider dragonfly (male)

Wandering Glider dragonfly (male)

Wandering Glider dragonfly (male)

Wandering Glider is one of at least five major species of dragonflies known to be migratory in North America. One field marker most migratory dragonflies have in common: broad hindwings.

The very broad hindwings represent an important adaptation for gliding, … Source Credit: Paulson, Dennis (2011-12-19). Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East (Princeton Field Guides) (Kindle Locations 11276-11277). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.

Related Resources: Digital Dragonflies, presenting high-resolution digital scans of living dragonflies.

  • Genus Pantala | Pantala flavescens | Wandering Glider | male | top view
  • Genus Pantala | Pantala flavescens | Wandering Glider | male | side view
  • Genus Pantala | Pantala flavescens | Wandering Glider | female | top view
  • Genus Pantala | Pantala flavescens | Wandering Glider | female | side view

See interactive three-dimensional (3-D) virtual imagery of the five migratory dragonflies, including Wandering Glider, provided by the Migratory Dragonfly Partnership.

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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3 Responses to “Wandering Glider dragonfly (male)”

  1. Mike Powell Says:

    Great shots, Walter. When you got a shot of a Wandering Glider perching last fall, I figured it was a once-in-a-lifetime shot, but this time the dragonfly was even more cooperative and you really took advantage of the opportunity. Bravo!

  2. Lova Says:

    Beautiful shots Walter.

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