Pantala flavescens (Wandering Glider)

This iconic long-distance migrant seemed to be ubiquitous in Namibia; we saw it almost everywhere. We never, however, saw one settle so identifying it was a bit of a challenge. Carol snagged a distant female in flight at Toshari Lodge and on the very last morning before our return, I finally got some definitive shots of males over water.

The amazing dragonflies cross the Indian Ocean on teh monsoon winds. Their larval development takes <40 days enabling them to reproduce successfully in short-lived seasonal pools of water. The only continent from which they are absent is Antartica, though they are rare in Europe.

Id Notes

  • both sexes are generally orange bodied
  • large wings, the hind-wing having a very broad chord
  • slightly decurved abdomen, almost drooping in appearance, in flight
  • hind-wing pterostigma slightly shorter than that of the fore-wing
  • ♂ – faint smudges at extreme hind-wing tips