Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Jetsetting Dragonflies

Muhammad Mahdi Karim Image: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

Not only not are dragonflies some of the best aeronauts of the insect world, some also have the greatest endurance. A couple of years ago, it was discovered that the globe skimmer dragonfly (Pantala flavescens) migrates from India to South East Africa via the Indian Ocean islands of the Maldives and the Seychelles, and back via East Africa. That's a grand total of around 18 000 km. That's a fair bit further than the 11 000 km I recently traveled from New Zealand to South Africa. It is considered that the round trip takes place over several generations, but it's still an amazing phenomenon.

For more information, there's news reports from Wildlife Extra and the Daily Mail; and a blog post from National Geographic. There's even a graphic on DeviantArt celebrating the journey. To hear it from the horse's mouth (so to speak) watch a video of Charles Anderson himself talking about his findings.

No comments: