This dragonfly is the world's most
widely distributed dragonfly being found in the tropics as well as in temperate
zones. It breeds on every continent except Europe and Antarctica and is
found all around the world. This species flies almost constantly and drifts
with the wind as it feeds. It flies thousands of miles over oceans and
because of its characteristic gliding flight, its common name is the Globe
Skimmer or Wandering Glider. It can be seen flying almost anywhere in open
country, sometimes in great numbers. They rarely perch but at sea they
have been known to land on ships far away from land.
They usually inhabit the thickly
vegetated areas of stream bank areas and lower wetland areas near the ocean.
Breeding occurs in standing or slow moving water, so rice paddies in the
tropics are particularly suitable habitats. Forests and even rain puddles
are also known breeding locations.
The colour of the thorax and tapered
abdomen of both sexes is orangish to light brown with long, broad and clear
wings. The small dark area on the tip of the hind-wing is distinctive.
The Wandering Glider feeds mainly
on insects and small crustaceans. Of distinct advantage to humans is that
both the larvae and the adult are great hunters and often eat a lot of
insect pests, including mosquitoes. Their main predators are fish.