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Cape May in Cape May County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Swarms of Dragonflies

Dragonfly Migration

 

—Wildlife Migration —

 
Swarms of Dragonflies Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 27, 2009
1. Swarms of Dragonflies Marker
Inscription. On one recent September day, over 400,000 dragonflies swarmed Cape May. Migrating dragonflies may form swarms between late July and the middle of October, and most often during September.

These harmless insects become more concentrated at peninsulas and other coastal locations after cold fronts. Most dragonfly migration swarms follow geographical features in the landscape, such as coastlines, lake shores, and even the Garden State Parkway.

There is still much to learn about their migration. Researchers are trying to determine their origin, their destination, and the distance that they travel. Fat deposits in the abdomens suggest they may migrate long distances. Where do you think they are going?
 
Erected by State of New Jersey – Division of Parks & Forestry.
 
Location. 38° 55.933′ N, 74° 57.569′ W. Marker is in Cape May, New Jersey, in Cape May County. Marker can be reached from Lighthouse Avenue, on the left when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is in Cape May Point State Park, near the museum at the south end of the parking lot. Marker is in this post office area: Cape May Point NJ 08212, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fragile Flyers (a few steps from this
Marker in Cape May Point State Park image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 27, 2009
2. Marker in Cape May Point State Park
marker); Flipper and Friends (within shouting distance of this marker); What is it? (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); All Shapes, Sizes and Materials (about 400 feet away); Cape May Lighthouse (about 400 feet away); Shorebirds Galore (about 400 feet away); Oil House (about 400 feet away); Ridges, Rivers and Coastlines (about 500 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Cape May.
 
More about this marker. Photographs of five different species of dragonflies appear at the bottom of the marker. Photographs by Mike May, Ken Soltenz and Patricia Sutton. They have the following captions:
“The green darner (Anax junius) is the most common migrant in the Northeast. They arrive in April or May and lay eggs, which hatch in August before the southward migration.”
“Black saddlebags (Tramea lacerate) are very common migrants that also form large swarms.”
“Carolina saddlebags (Tramea Carolina) usually migrate with black saddlebags.”
The spot-winged glider
Cape May Point State Park image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 27, 2009
3. Cape May Point State Park
The Swarms of Dragonflies marker is seen here next to the museum building at the left. The Cape May Lighthouse can also be seen in the background.
(Pantala hymenaea) is more common along coastal areas of the Northeast than inland areas.”
“The wandering glider (Pantala flavescens) is a vagrant that tends to migrate all over the world, following tropical weather systems.”
 
Also see . . .  New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route. National Park Service website. (Submitted on June 30, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. AnimalsScience & Medicine
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 794 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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