Pantala Hagen, 1861 (Libellulidae) - Gliders

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Page last updated: 06 August 1998 (EB)

Notes on the Michigan Species of Pantala

There are two species of Pantala in North America, both occur within our range (see maps below). Larvae are pale, greenish with light brown markings. Like that of other highly migratory dragonflies, larvae are active, fast-growing predators that adapt well to temporary lentic habitats, including those created by man. Larval development and descriptions of each instar for P. flavescens was thoroughly treated by Lamb (1925, 1929) and summarized by Huggins and Brigham (1982). Prey varies from small invertebrates and probably zooplankton in earlier instars, to macroinvertebrates and even small fish in later instars (Lamb 1925, Warren 1915). Time period for larval development probably varies considerably, depending on temperature and food availability, among other factors, and has been reported from 145 to as little as 36 days (Lamb 1925, Warren 1915, Bick 1951). It is not known whether larvae overwinter in Michigan.

WWW-links on the ecology and biology of larval Pantala:
no links found as of 15 January 1998

Michigan Species List

Map 1 Map 2
Maps 1-2: County distribution of the Michigan species of
Click on map for a larger image

Pantala flavescens (Fabricius, 1798) - Wandering Glider
Pantala hymenaea (Say, 1839) - Spot-winged Glider

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Key to Mature Larvae of Michigan Pantala
(Based on Walker and Corbet 1975)

1a. Width of base of lateral spine on abdominal segment 9 > 0.33x length of spineís length (picture); epiproct with rounded dorsal surface when viewed laterally (picture) - P. hymenea

1b. Width of base of lateral spine on abdominal segment 9 < 0.33x length of spineís length (picture); epiproct without rounded dorsal surface when viewed laterally (picture) - P. flavescens

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Bick, G. H. 1951. Notes on Oklahoma dragonflies. Journal of the Tennessee Academy of Science 26:178-180.

Fabricius, J. C. 1798. Supplementum entomologiae systematicae. pp. 283-285. Proft. (Schubothe), Hafniae.

Hagen, H. A. 1861. Synopsis of the Neuroptera of North America, with a list of the South American species. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections 4:1-347.

Huggins, D. G., and W. U. Brigham. 1982. Odonata, pp. 4.1-4.100. In Aquatic Insects and Oligochaetes of North and South Carolina. Brigham, A. R., W. U. Brigham and A. Gnilka (eds.). Midwest Aquatic Enterprises: Mahomet, Illinois.

Lamb, L. 1925. A tabular account of the differences between the earlier instars of Pantala flavescens (Odonata: Libellulidae). Transactions of the American Entomological Society 50:289-312.

Lamb, L. 1929. The later larval stages of Pantala (Odonata: Libellulidae). Transactions of the American Entomological Society 54:331-334.

Say, T. 1839. Descriptions of new North American neuropterous insects and observations on some already described by (the late) Th. Say. Journal of the Academy of Natural Science of Philadelphia 8:9-46.

Walker, E. M., and J. S. Corbet. 1975. The Odonata of Canada and Alaska, Vol. 3. University of Toronto Press: Toronto. xvi + 308 pp.

Warren, A. 1915. A study of the food habits of the Hawaiian dragonflies or Pinau with reference to their economic relation to other insects. College of Hawaii Publications, Bulletin 3. 45 pp.

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