Swarm Sunday: 7/6/14 – 7/19/14

Dragonfly Swarm Project logo

I didn’t have a chance to post last week, so what you see here represents two weeks of data.  Swarm reports came from the following locations:


Scottsdale, AZ
Butlerville, AK
Chico, CA
Flagler, CO
Duluth, MN
Brick, NJ
Ocean City, NJ (2 reports)
Williamstown, NJ
Houston, TX
Pflugerville, TX
Rockwall, TX
Mathews, VA


Calgary, AB (2 reports)
Miramichi, NB
Vulcan, AB


Celbridge, County Kildare

And here are the maps for the last two weeks:

swarms 7.6.14 to 7.12.14

7/6/14 to 7/12/14


swarms 7.13.14 to 7.19.14

7/13/14 to 7/19/14

Red pins are static swarms, yellow pins are migratory. Click the maps to enlarge!

There has been a little upswing in activity in the past few weeks, which I’m excited about.  Over the last week, there were four migratory swarms (though only one really shows up on the map – two are under other pins and one is outside of North America), so there’s been at least a little movement.  Texas continues to have regular activity, New Jersey had a small event, and California showed up on the map last week.  The most exciting thing to me is the report from Ireland though!  That’s a new country for the Dragonfly Swarm Project and brings the total number of countries where swarms have been reported to 23.  There’s been a pretty even spread so far too, with all continents except Antarctica (for obvious reasons) and Africa (no idea why) well represented.

This last week, I got to talk about my project for an educational podcast geared at 4th and 5th graders, and I’ll post a link if I get public access to the final product online.  I’m also excited about some upcoming promotion of my project that I’ll tell you about once I know more details!  It’s fun spreading the word about dragonfly swarms and what it’s like doing insect behavior work with citizen scientists, so I’m looking forward to sharing the results of these with you all in the next few weeks.

If the trend from the past four years holds true, we’re coming up on peak season for dragonfly swarms here soon.  It will be very interesting to see what happens, so send in your data!  I can’t wait to see what happens this season!


Have you seen a dragonfly swarm? I am tracking swarms so I can learn more about this interesting behavior.  If you see one, I’d love to hear from you!  Please visit my Report a Dragonfly Swarm page to fill out the official report form.  It only takes a few minutes! Thanks!


Want more information? Visit my dragonfly swarm information page for my entire collection of posts about dragonfly swarms!


Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth

4 thoughts on “Swarm Sunday: 7/6/14 – 7/19/14

  1. Hello,

    Can you tell me what you mean by a dragonfly swarm? Do you mean normal emergences when they all come out at once and appear to be swarming? Or are you talking about the kind of swarm that bees engage in? I live on an isthmus between two small kettle lakes in Wis and often observe the phenomena of hundreds/thousands of odes coming up to the lawn for a day or two to “harden”, but this is nothing like a bee swarm. I also see certain species feeding together where mosquitoes congregate, but again, that doesn’t seem to be the same as bees swarming. Can you explain this — or have you explained this in your blog?



    • What you’re seeing is exactly what I’m looking for actually! The swarms that dragonflies form are generally of one of two types: feeding swarms where dozens to millions of dragonflies fly together over a well defined area (almost always where there is abundant food available) away from water as they feed, which sounds like what you’ve been seeing, or migratory swarms where hundreds to millions of dragonflies fly together in a directional movement as they move from an unsuitable or declining habitat to another as a group. What you’re seeing might seem normal to you, but it’s actually a rather rarely observed dragonfly behavior. Lucky that you live somewhere that this happens so often!

  2. Hi! While I haven’t seen a swarm (yet) this year . . . I saw something really cool today while dog sitting. I thought it was a black-winged butterfly, but when it landed, it was actually a black-winged, fluorescent-green body dragonfly. At least that’s what I think it was! I’ve never seen anything like it before, and by the time i thought to take a picture, it was gone. I had no idea that such a color-combinationed creature existed. (I’m in Sudbury Mass today)

    As always, I hope that you’re well and enjoy your emails.

    All the best – kelly

    • Ooh, I’ll bet it was an ebony jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata)! Sounds exactly like it from your description and I think you should ooh and ahh over them the way you did here. Take a look and see if that looks right to you!

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