Pantala hymenaea (spot-winged glider) is a dragonfly of the family Libellulidae. It is a migratory species and is native to North, Central and South America, travelling widely and breeding in temporary water bodies. It looks very similar to the wandering glider, with the addition of a dark basal spot on the hindwing. It is a common species with a very large range and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed it as being of "least concern".
The spot-winged glider is a robust species with a cylindrical abdomen and broad hindwings. Its length is about 5 cm (2 in) and its wingspan 7.5 cm (3 in). The eyes are red and the face is also red in breeding males. The general body colour is brown, and females and immatures have a diagonal white marking on the thorax. There is a small dark brown spot at the base of the hindwings and this distinguishes this species from the otherwise similar wandering glider (Pantala flavescens).
Distribution and habitat
The spot-winged glider is a widespread and common species in the New World, occurring in North, Central and South America. Its range includes six provinces in Canada (British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Québec), 45 states in the United States, 24 states in Mexico, the West Indies, Central America and much of South America as far south as Argentina. It is a migratory species and a strong flier, and although it may not breed in all these countries and states, it likely does in most, with the exception of British Columbia and Manitoba, where it is probably a vagrant. Breeding takes place in temporary wetlands, flooded areas, pools and garden ponds. The most important factor for successful breeding is probably an absence of fish, as the nymphs feed in the open.
In North America, there is a northward migration of these dragonflies from tropical areas in the summer, and a southerly migration in the fall; presumably these are a different generation, but the biology of this species is little known.
- Paulson, D.R. (2018). "Pantala hymenaea". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2018.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
- "Pantala hymenaea". Integrated Taxonomic Information System.
- "Spot-winged glider (Pantala hymenaea)". Migratory Dragonfly Partnership. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
- Abbott, John C. (2005). Dragonflies and Damselflies of Texas and the South-Central United States. Princeton University Press. p. 290. ISBN 0-691-11364-5.
- Pantala hymenaea on BugGuide.Net