Migrating With The Darners!



We are “migrating” north to our VA farm tomorrow from SW FL and the most interesting natural event this morning locally was a virtual swarm of large greenish darners flying around at Cedar Pt park. The only one I could find on the ground is shown in an attached photo- I am guessing it is a juvenile green darner. Those odonatologists out there please let me know if I am wrong. I assume these are migrating from S FL or even the Caribbean, or possibly including d’flies which have just emerged from local ponds? There are quite a few large darner nymphs in local wetlands.

The question is do these dragonflies actually migrate to VA/NC- I am assuming this but wonder if they can over-winter as nymphs in VA? I know that the adult green darners abruptly leave our VA ponds in late Summer (and thus appear to be migrating) and are replaced by equally large shadow darners well into the Fall- I assume they are also migrating south but may be more tolerant of cold than the green darner.

So let us not forget that even “lowly” insects can do amazing things like migrate over long distances.

Bill Dunson, Englewood, FL & Galax, VA

Bill Dunson

About Bill Dunson

Bill Dunson, born in rural Georgia, skipped 12th grade and went directly to Yale. Bill subsequent-ly received a PhD in Zoology from the University of Michigan, studying softshell turtles. Bill is Professor Emeritus of Pennsylvania State University thanks to a career spent entirely at that institution, teaching and doing research on the physio-logical ecology and ecotoxiciology of reptiles, amphibians and fish. Always curious about nature, Bill has dedicated his life to learning and sharing his knowledge with others. He has served on many advisory boards here in Southwest Florida to preserve the water that gives life to our region.

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