Dragonfly Swarm Information

Dragonfly Swarm Project logo

For easy reference, the following is a list of all the dragonfly swarm posts I’ve done so far, arranged according to post type.  Please note that the project is still going, but I am a bit behind on keeping up with this page and the annual reports.  Hope to get caught up soon!

Skip to a section:

General Information
Yearly Reports
Swarm Sunday (Weekly reports)
Dragonfly Swarm Videos
The Dragonfly Swarm Project in the News

Want to see the yearly maps?  Visit the maps page!


General Information

Dragonfly Swarms: Static Feeding Swarms Detailed information about static dragonfly swarms

From the Literature: Mass Migrations in Dragonflies A summary of a scientific paper that focuses on migratory swarms in dragonflies

From the Literature: Tracking Dragonfly Migrations A summary of another scientific paper about migratory dragonfly swarms, this one focusing on using radio transmitters to track their movements precisely

Migratory Dragonfly Species – Common Species A simple identification guide to the most commonly observed species of dragonflies in migratory swarms.  Most of these have also been observed forming static swarms.

Migratory Dragonfly Species – Less Common Species Another identification guide for swarming dragonfly species, this time focusing on the less common species.  Most of these have also been observed forming static swarms.

Dragonfly Swarm! 
My original post on dragonfly swarms, the one that resulted in this project.  I wrote a second post that focused on the dragonfly species in the swarm that is available here: Dragonflies from the swarm.

Dragonfly Swarms Revisited
A post discussing some of the characteristics of the two types of dragonfly swarms, static (feeding) and migratory, based on my first month or so of data collection

Yearly Reports

After each year of data collection, I will make a report that includes the distribution data, information about the dataset, and the conclusions I’ve made for the year.


2012 Year End Report, Part 1
Includes facts about the dataset, including demographics information and some basic geographic information.

2012 Dragonfly Swarm Project Year-End Report: Distribution of Swarms
Distribution data and maps for the 2012 season.

2012 Dragonfly Swarm Project Year-End Report: Conclusions
Conclusions for the 2012 season.

2012 Dragonfly Swarm Project Year-End Report: What the Data Suggest So Far
A summary of the patterns in the data that help explain how and why dragonflies swarms as well as how they benefit people.


2011 Year-End Report, Part 1
Includes Facts about the dataset, including demographic information and some basic geographic information.

2011 Year-End Report, Part 2
Distribution data and maps for the 2011 season.

2011 Year-End Report, Part 3
Conclusions for the 2011 season

2011 Year-End Report, Part 4
Other observations, project success, and future goals


Using publicly collected data to study dragonfly swarms: Part 1  Includes facts about the dataset, links to news articles and other blog posts about swarms, and other background information.

Using publicly collected data to study dragonfly swarms: Part 2  Includes distribution of swarming activity and the 2010 swarm map.

Using publicly collected data to study dragonfly swarms: Part 3  Includes conclusions from 2010 data.

Swarm Sunday

Swarm Sunday is (ideally) a weekly feature that I run during the dragonfly swarming season.  Each time, I’ll post a list of the locations of all the dragonfly swarms that occurred during the previous week so that everyone can see where dragonfly swarming activity is occurring

Why Swarm Sunday?

2017 Season:

1/1/2017 – 5/19/17

2015 Season:

1/1/15 – 3/28/15
3/29/15 – 4/4/15

3/29/15 – 6/13/15

6/14/15 – 6/20/15

6/21/15 – 6/27/15

6/28/15 – 7/4/15
6/28/15 – 7/31/15
8/1/15 – 8/15/15

8/16/15 – 8/29/15

8/30/15 – 9/12/15

9/13/15 – 9/19/15

9/20/15 – 9/26/15

9/27/15 – 10/3/15
9/27/15 – 12/20/15

2014 Season:

1/1/14 – 5/31/14
6/1/14 – 6/7/14
6/8/14 – 6/14/14
6/15/14 – 6/21/14
6/22/14 – 7/5/14
7/6/14 – 7/19/14
7/20/14 – 7/26/14
10/21/14 – 10/26/14
10/26/14 – 11/8/14

11/9/14 – 11/22/14

2013 Season:

1/1/2013 – 7/6/2-13
7/7/13 – 7/13/13
7/14/13 – 7/20/14
7/21/13 – 7/27/13
7/28/13 – 8/3/13
8/4/13 – 8/10/14
8/11/13 – 8/17/13
8/18/13 – 8/24/13
8/25/13 – 8/31/13
9/1/13 – 9/7/13
9/8/13 – 9/14/13
9/15/13 – 9/21/13
9/22/13 – 9/28/13
9/29/13 – 10/5/13

2012 SEASON:

Winter 2011-2012
2/2012 – 6/17/2012
6/18/2012 – 6/23/2012
6/24/2012 – 6/30/2012
7/1/2012 – 7/7/2012
7/8/2012 – 7/14/2012
7/15/2012 – 7/21/2012
7/22/2012 – 7/28/2012
7/29/2012 – 8/4/2012
8/5/2012 – 8/11/2012
8/12/2012 – 8/18/2012
8/19/2012 – 8/25/2012
8/26/2012 – 9/1/2012
9/2/2012 – 9/8/2012
9/9/2012 – 9/15/2012
9/16/2012 – 9/22/2012
9/23/2012 – 9/29/2012
9/30/2012 – 10/6/2012
10/7/2012 – end of season

2011 SEASON:

1/1/2011 – 6/18/2011
6/19/2011 – 6/25/2011
6/26/2011 – 7/2/2011
7/3/2011 –  7/9/2011
7/10/2011 – 7/16/2011
7/17/2011 – 7/23/2011
7/24/2011 – 7/30/2011
7/31/2011 – 8/6/2011
8/7/2011 – 8/13/2011
8/14/2011 – 8/20/2011
8/21/2011 – 8/27/2011
8/28/2011 – 9/3/2011
9/4/2011 – 9/10/2011
9/11/2011 – 9/17/2011
9/18/2011 – 9/24/2011
9/26/2011 – 10/1/2011
10/2/2011 – 10/8/2011
10/9/2011 – 10/15/2011
10/16/2011 – 10/22/2011
10/23/2011 – 10/29/2011

Dragonfly Swarm Videos

Want to see what a dragonfly swarm looks like?  Several people (including me) have put videos of swarms they’ve witnessed on YouTube, so I made a playlist:

Dragonfly Swarm YouTube Playlist

There are about 100 videos linked so far, so enjoy!

NOTE: some of the videos have colorful and/or offensive commentary.  If you wish to share these with kids, it would be a good idea to preview them first to be sure they’re not going to hear something distasteful.

The Dragonfly Swarm Project in the News

My project has been featured on other websites.  Check out the following links for more information about the origin of the project and how you can get involved!

The Dragonfly Swarm Project is on SciStarter.com!  It was the number 5 citizen science project on SciStarter in 2011 too.

SciStarter.com featured The Dragonfly Swarm Project on their blog!  Studying Dragonfly Swarms with Citizen Science  This post was also one of the top 11 SciStarter blog posts for 2011.

A blog post on my ScienceForCitizens.net blog (so far, this is the only post): Why citizen science works for studying dragonfly swarms.

Studying Dragonfly Swarms with Citizen Science, this time on the Science Friday blog.

Science writer Amy Dusto interviewed me and wrote a piece about my project.  You can see it online here!

The DSP was featured on the Scientific American Citizen Science page!

The DSP was briefly mentioned on a list of 14 fun facts about dragonflies presented by the Smithsonian.


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!



Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © TheDragonflyWoman.com


18 thoughts on “Dragonfly Swarm Information

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  3. We have swarming dragonflies before a storm here in Texas (I drove all the way from College Station to Martagoda by the sea and there were lots of dragonflies hitting my wind shield) right before a storm roughly a month ago. Back in Shenzhen China we used to have millions of dragonflies swarming before Typhoons. What you often see them do is to look for still waters to fertilize their eggs and lay them by dipping onto any shiny surface that they thought was water, with the male clamping on female’s back.

      • How come there are no pictures?

        I saw for the 1st time today a small swarm. It is July 3rd 2015.

        Is this blog over ?

        • Swarms are incredibly difficult to get good photos of, thus the lack of photos. You could always check out the YouTube channel devoted to swarms though! The videos show what they look like a lot better than any photo ever will.

          Thanks for submitting your swarm report! Appreciate the contribution to my project.

          • Forgot to mention in my Swarm Report, this particular dragonfly that keeps ‘staring’ at me through my window also has a little fuzzy bag on each of its rear legs. Don’t know how to describe it. He is so cute, and I call him Sweetie!

  4. could it be the swarm I witnessed on 9/9 and 9/10/13 was due to the large number of mosquitoes we had this spring and summer??? we had a wet spring but when I saw the swarm we were very dry..drought like….and very hot and humid ? I have lived in this area for 16 yrs and have never seen this before…

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    • Sorry to hear that you were a little scared, but glad you thought it was beautiful anyway! If you ever see one again, know that you are VERY unlikely to have a dragonfly so much as touch you if you roamed out into the swarm. They’re more focused on the food that led to the swarming than you!

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  7. Just came back from Topsail Island North Carolina. It was extremely hot all week with hardly any clouds at all. On Friday July 29 I was on the beach when there was actually a few clouds in the area and it suddenly felt like there might actually be a little coolness to the the breeze for a very brief moment or two. Not sure if that was a weather front or not but shortly thereafter a swarm of dragonflies showed up. They were all along the beach pretty much as far as I could see in both directions. I didn’t see any other kind of insects for them to be eating, and they did not hang around for long. They slowly worked there way in one direction along the beach and disappeared as quickly as they appeared. Could it have been a migratory swarm or was it more likely a feeding swarm?
    Thanks in advance for reading this post.
    Chris Feindt

  8. Pingback: Dragonfly season is quickly approaching! | Dragonfly Detectives

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