Report a Dragonfly Swarm

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Pantala flavescens


59 thoughts on “Report a Dragonfly Swarm

  1. Thanks for having this info out there. I had no idea what we had run through and wasn’t finding much online until I saw this site. I then looked at the car to see if they looked like dragonflies, and sure enough, they did!

    • You’re welcome! Dragonfly swarms are common in the summer, but very few people actually see them and even fewer people know what’s going on. I’m glad I can provide information that people want!

  2. Was in awe, but at the same time didn’t know what was going on until I was able to go home and research on internet, which led me here! Wish I would have observed more now or took pictures. I was visiting my grandpa with my 21mo old son and literally had to cover our faces running to the car through the swarm! Hope my info helps in your research!

  3. I ran into this site because I was trying to find out if these swarms were almost a warning of really bad weather. Thanks for having the info I needed. I hope the info I have given helps you. the last time I saw a swarm like this was right before the hurricane that hit Palm Beach County in 2004…Hurricane Frances I think it was. Now when I see them I think of severe weather!

    • I can see why you associate dragonfly swarms with bad weather if you saw one before a hurricane! They can be associated with storms at times because storms move a lot of insets around and create little localized pockets of prey insects around which dragonfly swarms form. However, dragonflies can swarm after storms too and still lots of other swarms form in perfect weather. The dragonflies swarm where there’s food for them to eat, so though storms can sometimes impact the location of those prey insects, the dragonflies themselves are just following the food.

      Thanks for submitting your report! I appreciate it.

  4. i hope what I submitted helps you!! It’s now 1:53pm and they all seems to have left. It was incredible the amount of them in this swarm. I said there were hundreds of them but there could have easily been well over a thousand as there are about 12 or so buildings and they all had the dragonflies swarming above and around them. Truly an amazing site to see!!

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  6. Finally saw a swarm this year! Saw it on the 8th, but was just now able to report it, as I had surgery early the next morning. Just now getting back online & wanted to let you know about it!

  7. This is a new phenomenon here. We don’t ordinarily see dragonflies, much less in swarms. It looks like a feeding frenzy but I’m not sure what they could be feeding on. I shouldn’t think they could eat grasshoppers and I haven’t seen a lot of grasshoppers . However, there is something that is stripping my four o’clocks. Anyway, that is all the information I have at this time. judi

  8. We’re nature lovers and so glad to learn more about dragonflies through you! Thanks for the terrific info. Last night’s swarm of fliers was amazing.
    -The Rohr Family

  9. Sent a filled out form. It’s 6: 41 pm and they’re still here but not as many. The sun is lower and clouds have moved in, which may have some effect. So glad you recording this data. I’ll check back periodically to see what you’ve learned. All best . . .

  10. thank you for your time & energy. seeing the dragonflies swarm is amazing. i posted to FB. maybe we will learn more. oh, btw, your website is very workable

  11. just would like to know who you are. your web page seems more than casual. if it is of a scientific nature (w/ #s, dates, etc), i would love to learn more

    • I am a professional entomologist, so I am a scientist. The blog is meant to be a sort of outreach tool so I can share what I learn as a scientist with people who are not scientists. The dragonfly swarm project is a citizen science project of mine, so it’s a scientific project. I’ll be publishing the results in a few years!

  12. Cheryl Hollobaugh- September 30, 2011 between 5pm and 6;30pm
    We have seen swarms of Ladybugs before and wasn’t to excited about them, as I’m sure most would agree! But seeing a swarm of Drafonflies was exciting, we have never seen anything like it, we are lucky to see one or two in the summer here and there, and to see a swarm, well that was really something. At first we wasn’;t sure what was going on, untill I was able to get on the internet and used BING to find out infomation on them and was led to your site, very infromed now, your site is awesome!

  13. Thank you for this site, it is very informative and extreemly helpful. Seeing all of the dragon flies was beautiful and a tad bit scarey.

  14. I just filled out your form and left our info. Thanks for the answer to the amazing sight we witnessed last night. Wow is all I can say, still thinking about it this morning when I woke up.

  15. I just filled out the form. This is the second day in a row for the swarm to show-up at our house/neighborhood. Both days was around 5:00 P.M. The swarm stayed for a little over an hour. During the same time, there were hundreds of birds, Starlings I suppose, flying around in an apparent attempt to feed on the plentiful bounty.

  16. Thank you so much for this site. I was researching dragonfly swarms because I thought it was an annual occurrence. I had the pleasure of experiencing one in the past couple of years and wanted to make sure I caught it this fall. Which I learned after finding your site that it won’t necessarily be the case.

    I did submit a form to you even though I don’t really remember the date, just that it was in the fall. I am going to see if I still have the video footage I took of it.
    Take care,

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  18. Youtube video from Aug. 2011. However, I am not exactly sure where this video was filled.

    Hope it is helpful.

    I am currently on campus at Kingsborough Community College. there is a thunderstorm at the moment and for the first time, I can see about a dozen or so dragon flies, flying about. I am mentioning this, simply because I have never seen anything like this occur before. Hope that helped.

  19. A static swarm was sighted over my son’s backyard in Denver, CO at about 6PM on July 9, 2012 near Regis University. This event followed unusual severe thunder storms after a long dry and unusually hot period for this region. Forest fires had been widespread in Colorado during this dry period.


    • Glad to hear you all are getting some rain out there! Of course those nasty summer storms can sometimes cause problems when there’s a lot of lightning, but hopefully it will cut down on the fire hazard at least. The rain might explain why there’s been a second surge of reports in Colorado the last few days too. Fun!

  20. Static swarm above trees all up and down street. Humid weather for 3 days and big wildfire about 30 miles away today.

  21. I am a captain of a 300 ft vessel and every time before a TS or hurricane has been on its way I see tons of dragonflies. Last tropical storm that hit Louisiana I realized this. We have a storm by Cuba now and we believe it’s coming here. If this storm comes into the gulf then I know this is true. Last time we left for a storm there were millions of dragonflies days before the storm. The storm hit east of us. As I recall writing this now the last TS hit east of us too. Maybe some symbolism with dragonflies and east of them is where the storm will hit. Found your site looking to see if any one else noticed this. I did find typhoon fly in Asian poetry. Hope this helps. Email me if you know anything of this pattern.

    • Dragonfly swarming does appear to be linked to storms, so that’s a great observation! I’ve gotten lots of reports of swarms just before or just after swarms and I believe that they are eithr being caug up and pushed before storms or intentionally moving ahead of storms. It’s an awesome thing to witness! One question: are you seeing these swarms out to sea? I’ve seen video of them swarming around large ships out to sea, but I have no idea how common this actually is as I don’t live near enough to the ocean to tslk to captains and ask questions. Maybe you can help answer this for me!

  22. I think I know why so many dragonflies are becoming the norm. They are simply filling
    in because of the drop in numbers of bats.
    Dragonflies eat bugs on the wing just like
    the bats did. This can be a problem because
    the larva of the dragonfly are carnivorous
    and with this in mind the frog numbers may
    drop. So too will minnows and other small
    fry. Possible? Seen any bats lately?
    Mike A. Twaits Felton Delaware

    • Ooh, intriguing idea! That’s certainly a possibility. I do think the season just started early this year and that the wilder weather that we’ve seen over the last few years has a lot to do with swarm activity, but I love bats and would never rule out the idea that they might be playing a role. I’m going to have to look into this idea a bit more! I love it!

    • Excellent! I get very few reports from Utah, so I’m excited. So glad your kid had fun too! At that age I think I would have been terrified of a swarm of dragonflies, so I’m very happy to hear that your two year old was not like me at 2. :)

  23. While standing out in the ocean in Panama City Beach, FL on 8/25/2012 we noticed quite a few dragonflys in the air. As the number increassed we looked out toward the horizon and they were as far as we could see, thousandsof them, flying in towards shore. Quite amazing to see and I had no idea that some of them do migrate until I got home and did some research on the computer.

    • If they were flying toward the shore, they would have actually been going the wrong direction to be part of the fall migration, so I can only presume that the migration you saw involved many dragonflies traveling in front of the hurricane, either to escape the storm or following the food storms like that push around. Sounds like a fun experience! I would have enjoyed seeing that and was in Florida at the time, but I was too far inland to see the migrations that several other people reported.

  24. A dragonfly swarm just occurred in our backyard in Belleville (south of Madison, WI at 6:00pm. Birds with a white stripe on the bottom of their wings were swooping, and I assume, eating the dragonflies. Any ideas what these birds may be? The swarm/bird frenzy lasted approximately 40 minutes.

    • I know very little about birds, but I would bet that you saw swallows. They seems to be very common around dragonfly swarms based on the extensive reports of both flying together I’ve gotten.

  25. Wow. The kids and I were in the pool all afternoon and noticed flying way above lots and lots of dragon flys. Then we noticed they were getting closer and closer to us. Then flying into the pool. Thousands above our head while we were running out of the pool. This was on the gulf of florida in redington beach. Craziness.

  26. Dragonfly swarm this evening for at least an hour. It was amazing and beautiful like the Faeries were sending messages. Lawrenceville, NJ

  27. Jst this morning i was sitting on my porch looking out onto my yard n i saw thousands of what looked like nats from us cutting the grass yesterday but i thought to myself its to big to b nats soo i walked ove. To the spot in the yard n it was hundreds if not thousands of huge dragon flys some as long as my hand

  28. I just moved into a new home and planted a celestial fig tree in my backyard-I had so looked fwd& anticipated planting this tree, as my life was in turmoil/recovery frm recent divorce..I decorated it w a wooden cross that says “God bless our home”
    One day I looked out at the tree&swarm of dragonflies were swirling around it-I took a film of it-I sensed presence of the Lord blessing my home&encouraging me-Ive heard the dragonfly is a symbol
    of spiritual transformation. One of them flew in my house&perched on ceiling fan-v tame-perched on my hand&I took photos/posted on facebook-beautiful green dragonfly-So I believe they are a sign &wonder of the good Lord& venue through which God communicates/wishes to share his creation w us:-)

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