Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Wandering Glider

Pantala flavescens

Fabricius, 1798

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The Wandering Glider has a tapered yellow abdomen and a characteristic gliding flight. The thorax is gray and the wings are long and broad. This species flies almost constantly and drifts with the wind as it feeds. It flies thousands of miles over oceans and is found around the world. It breeds on every continent except Europe and Antarctica.

This is a common irruptive migrant from the south. Its larvae do not over-winter, but the eggs and larvae develop very rapidly so there is a summer emergence. Nebraska is at the northern edge of the US range of this worldwide species. It is more widespread than the records would indicate, as it is conspicuous but difficult to catch; it should be recorded in all counties. It is usually found flying slowly at various elevations overfields or even parking lots, but egg laying is in temporary pondsand puddles.

Wandering Glider
Wandering Glider male

Photo courtesy of Loren and Babs Padelford.

Size: 47-50 mm (1.9-2.0 in)

Habitat: temporary ponds with bare shores

Great Plains Range: TX, OK, KS, NE, NM, CO, WY, MT, MO, IA, MN

Flight season: mid June to late September

Wandering Glider map

Green indicates accepted county record (specimen or photograph).
Yellow indicates sight record only.

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