Minnesota Dragonfly

Wandering Glider

pantala flavescens

The Wandering Glider is a distinctive yellow Skimmer that is the only species of dragonfly that can be found on every continent other than Antarctica. They have very broad hindwings which make them a strong flyer and allow them to migrate further than any other insect


Field Marks
  • Average adult size is approximately from 1.7 to 2.0 inches
  • Bright yellow face
  • Red eyes
  • Thorax mustard yellow in front and on top with pale sides
  • Legs beige-tan at base becoming black lower on
  • Orange abdomen with black irregular shaped top spots, sometimes surrounded by white near the first segments, running down the center
  • Orange terminal appendage with black tips
  • Small reddish patches at the tips of the wings
  • Hind wing has a very broad base

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Field Marks
  • Female is colored similarly to the male
  • Cerci as long as segments 9 and 10 combined
  • Orange subgenital plate is about two thirds as long as segment 9

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Natural History


The Wandering Glider is a very strong flyer, with the longest migration of any species of dragonfly. They have been found perching on ships far at sea. Late in the seasn they can be seen joining with saddlebags and darners in feeding swarms. When not in flight they tend to perch hanging vertically or slanted at around a 45 degree angle


Temporary ponds, pools, drainage ditches and other fishless temporary wetlands


Females lay eggs by tapping their abdomen against the water of temporary pools and ponds, either alone or in tandem with male. Females often lay eggs on cars, concrete or other shiny surfaces, mistaking them for water. This species has a very short larval cycle

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.