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Spot-winged Glider

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Pantala hymenaea

Say, 1839

Order Odonata
Suborder Anisoptera
Superfamily Libelluloidea
Family Libellulidae
Genus Pantala
Species hymenaea Say, 1839 [Pantala]
Syn Tramea huanacina F¿¿rster, 1909


This species is similar to Wandering Glider (P. flavescens ) and equally cosmopolitan in the south-central United States. The face and thorax are essentially as in that species. Each hindwing, however, has a distinct round dark spot basally. The abdomen is darker and mottled.


Total length: 43-51 mm; abdomen: 29-35 mm; hindwing: 39-45 mm.

Similar Species

Wandering Glider lacks the brown spot basally in the hindwing. All saddlebag gliders (Tramea ) in the region have a basal band rather than spot in the hindwing. The Hyacinth Glider (Miathyria marcella ) has a narrow band in the hindwing rather than a spot. Other similar skimmers lack the hindwing spot.


Open, temporary and artificial ponds and pools, including brackish waters.


This species, although not found globally, is as widely distributed throughout North America as the Wandering Glider. The behavior of this species is much the same as that species. It is a strong flier, generally only taking a perch to roost at night. It is an early colonizer of temporary and artificial ponds where it breeds. Males patrol larger more linear territories than do Wandering Glider. Females lay eggs by tapping the abdomen to the water while flying quickly over the water or while hovering, and either accompanied by the male or alone. This species has been slow to colonize along the coast of the western United States, but there is an apparent increase over much of the region. One study showed larvae of this species in Oklahoma cou ld complete development in less than five weeks during the summer months.


Throughout southern Canada and U.S.; also West Indies, Central America south to Argentina and Chile.