Dragonfly migration doesn’t happen this way every fall, but when it does it’s pretty amazing. This year, it’s a big swarm. Hundreds, thousands of dragonflies migrating southward in a multigenerational migration. A news station in Virginia reported this swarm on September 4, and we are likely seeing the same individuals.
Most of the dragonflies we’re seeing are the large 3″ green darners. The males are an unmistakeable blue and green and seem to be able to hover in place until that moment when you raise your camera to try to capture them, when they zoom away. In 2019, a group of scientists did isotopic analysis on the wings of dragonflies, which provided genetic data about where the dragonfly originated. They discovered that green darners complete an epic dragonfly migration marathon that spans three generations of dragonflies, much the way monarchs do. Read more about that here.
Black Saddlebags and Carolina Saddlebags dragonflies are also migrating in this swarm. Occasionally, the green darners are stopping to lay eggs: we’re hoping to write more on that later. Right now it’s a great idea to go out and look!