Monday, December 21, 2009

Dragonflies at sea

Wandering Glider, Pantala flavescens, image courtesy of the Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab.

The Wandering Glider, perhaps better dubbed the "Globe Skimmer", is a common species here in Ohio. And many other places throughout the world.

Somewhat lackluster in the looks department, at least when compared to their more colorful brethren, this species may be the most fascinating of the lot. Capable of lightning speed reproduction - egg to flying adult in a scant few months - gliders are aerialists supreme. Bolstered by proportionately enormous wings, they are capable of incredible journeys, and are highly migratory.

Up until recently, it was presumed that the Monarch butterfly engaged in the longest migration of any insect.

Not.

Check out this fascinating video of a presentation given by biologist Charles Anderson, who ferreted out the mystery of masses of Wandering Gliders appearing each year in the Maldives islands, well out in the Indian Ocean and far from any possible breeding grounds. CLICK HERE for the video link.

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1 comment:

Cathy said...

Just watched the video with my son.

Fascinating!

Thank you!