Many people don't think about insects, like dragonflies, as migratory. Most of Vermont's 101 dragonfly species stay through the winter but the Wandering Glider leaves with the changing of the season. This species can be found on every continent, except Antartica. In England they are called "Wandering Globetrotters."
In this month's episode of Outdoor Radio, biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra are joined by dragonfly expert Bryan Pfeiffer at the North Branch Nature Center in Montpelier in an effort to find and maybe catch a migrant dragonfly.
The late summer heat and humidity has brought a huge influx of Wandering Gliders to Vermont. These migratory dragonflies follow weather patterns and storm systems, allowing them to cross great distances. There is evidence of them even crossing oceans making treks from India to Africa.
Also in this podcast, learn how we can track the migratory patterns of dragonflies by examining the chemical makeup of their wings. We've found dragonflies in Florida whose chemistry could only come from the waters of Vermont.
Find more about Vermont dragonflies at these sites:
- Visit the Vermont Dragonfly and Damselfly Atlas at the Vermont Atlas of Life and learn more about the Wandering Glider and other dragonflies.
- Add your observations of these and other wildlife to the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist and help us learn more.
- Read a short introduction about migrating dragonflies by the Xerces Society.
- Watch a TedTalk about a population of Wandering Glider that travels from India to Africa and back each year.
- Visit the website of The North Branch Nature Center in Mountpelier.
Outdoor Radio is produced in collaboration with the Vermont Center For Ecostudies.