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Common Green Darners Migrating South

Monarchs aren’t the only insect that are seasonal migrants.  The Common Green Darner dragonfly and a few other dragonfly species are as well.  However, where Monarchs move northward in the spring over several generations, one generation of Common Green Darners flies all the way from southern U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean in the spring to New England and Canada.  Here they lay eggs which give rise to a second generation that migrates south in September and October. Upon reaching their destination they then breed. A third generation emerges around November and lives entirely in the south during winter.  It’s their offspring that start the cycle again by swarming northward as temperatures warm in the spring.

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9 responses

  1. Alice

    That’s a beautiful photo! What gorgeous wings. What extremely long flights these insects make. Be strong, Dragonflies!

    September 9, 2022 at 8:12 am

  2. Thanks for this very clear explanation of the cycles of green darner populations Mary. There seem to be fewer than usual this year on Isle au Haut. Usually at this season there are swarms of them. I wonder if the drought has affected them. I think your beautiful photo is of a female – the males have a blue-green abdomen.

    September 9, 2022 at 9:33 am

  3. Don’t you just love these guys? Strong, fast, huge eyeballs, water lovers, mosquito eaters…what’s not to love?

    September 9, 2022 at 9:39 am

  4. Mary Quinn

    Very interesting. Amazing the change in generations in a year of living and migrating.

    September 9, 2022 at 9:50 am

  5. I didn’t know this. Thank you!

    September 9, 2022 at 11:00 am

  6. Virginia Cazort

    Do the green farmers return to the place they were born

    September 9, 2022 at 11:12 am

    • Different generations, Virginia, but I have no idea how close to the spot their ancestors lived they migrate to! Great question.

      September 9, 2022 at 12:32 pm

  7. Diane Alexander

    Insects are interesting to me. Are you basking in the glow of Tuba Skinny? Have a nice night. XO

    September 9, 2022 at 10:40 pm

  8. Cheryl McKeough

    That’s so interesting! I did not know that. Thanks for broadening my knowledge, Mary.

    September 9, 2022 at 11:47 pm

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