Minnesota Dragonfly

Spot-winged Glider

Pantala hymenaea

The Spot-winged Glider is a strong flying Skimmer that can be found throughout North and South America. In Minnesota they are migratory, arriving from the south they have a very short larval stage, around 5 weeks, before a new generation emerges and heads back down south


Field Marks
  • Average adult size is approximately from 1.7 to 2.0 inches
  • Orange face
  • Eyes red over grey
  • Brownish thorax with 2 pale stripes on the side, second stripe is not as bold or wide as the front stripe
  • Legs yellow at base, black at the ends
  • Abdomen yellow with thin rings separating the segments and black spots on segments 8 to 10
  • Hind wings triangular shape with a broad base that extends halfway down the abdomen and a small brown circular patch at the base of each hind wing

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Natural History


Spot-winged gliders are strong flyers that are usually in flight all day long, perching mainly only at night and typically high in the tree tops.


Can be found far from water flying over open fields. Breeding habitat is temporary pools and ponds, including brackish waters and man-made structures like fishless water gardens and swimming pools.


Females usually either lay eggs in tandem with male or alone with male guarding. While in tandem the female lays eggs by tapping her abdomen on the as the pair quickly fly across the water. When not ovipositing in tandem the female spends more time hovering over the water and dipping her abdomen

Range Maps

Click on the icons above for this species' range maps

Click here for county and state checklists from Odonata Central.

Range maps and checklists courtesy of Odonata Central. Copyright © 2016 OdonataCentral. All Rights Reserved. Abbott, J.C. 2006-2018. OdonataCentral: An online resource for the distribution and identification of Odonata. Available at www.odonatacentral.org.