Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wandering Glider

Scott King alerted me to the presence of Wandering Gliders, although I found them zig-zagging over Carleton College's arboretum prairie rather than over parking lots full of shiny cars to which, according to Scott, they are often attracted. 

Found on every continent except Antarctica, the Wandering Glider is probably our most widespread dragronfly. It is found from northeastern, southern, and southwestern North America to southern Argentina and Chile. It also inhabits southern Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and most of the Middle East, west and north across the Indian subcontinent (they are recorded from over 20,000 feet elevation in the Himalayas) to China, Japan and Korea. It is known from Southeast Asia to Australia. You can look for Wandering Gliders across the Pacific--the species is the only dragonfly on Easter Island and was the first Odonata to recolonize Bikini Atoll after the nuclear bomb testing (Wikipedia). They have landed on ships hundreds of miles from land (Mead). Only Europe and northern portions of the Old World seem to lack breeding Wandering Gliders, but even in those northern locations these dragonflies are occasionally reported. In colder parts of their range, Wandering Gliders are migratory. 

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