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Dragonflies migrate out of Missouri

Jacob McCleland

Migratory dragonflies are leaving Missouri and Illinois for areas further south. It’s part of these great travelers' annual migration pattern.

The Wandering Glider and Spot-winged dragonfly typically pass through the region in July. By early August, they are on their way out.

Bob Gillespie is a natural history biologist at the Missouri Department of Conservation. He says, up until a few year ago, scientists knew very little about how they migrate.

“We’ve found that dragonflies do a lot of the same things that birds do when they are migrating. I mean they store up fat reserves just like birds do to make the trip. And they will migrate on days that are conducive for that migration. So they know what they are doing,” said Gillespie.

The insects lay eggs in water throughout their migratory routes. Gillespie says last year’s floods were great for dragonfly populations, but it’s still too early to tell how this year’s drought will affect them.