MDP invites you to help us learn about the seasonal movements and life histories of migratory species by participating in Pond Watch.  You might think of migration as a fall event, but in springtime, migratory dragonflies that spent the winter in warmer climes return to the north. Because these flights are more diffuse and widespread than the large fall migrations, it's easy to miss the first returning spring migrants.

Migrant adults are on the wing in spring before resident members of the species have warmed up out of their winter hibernation and completed development. With Pond Watch, people visit a local wetland or pond on a regular basis and continually note the presence (or absence!) of the five main migratory species in North America. By making observations throughout the year, Pond Watch volunteers can note the first mature adult migrants arriving from the south, and also note when resident adults of these species emerge locally, helping us learn more about the relationship between resident and migratory members of the same species.

Help MDP unravel the mystery of dragonfly migration!

Volunteer citizen scientists submit their notes and photographs to the Pond Watch section of the MDP web site. Observations may include sightings of adults as well as nymphs and exuviae (the cast-off skin of the nymph left behind when the adult emerges), as these provide evidence of breeding at a site. Additionally, physical specimens of adults, nymphs, or exuviae can be collected for use in the Stable Isotope Project. Look for a new field guide in the coming months to help participants identify nymphs and exuviae of migratory species at their ponds. Pond Watch and isotope data together will help reveal more about migratory species' life history, development, and associations with resident dragonflies.   




We need your eyes on the sky (and at the pond!)
Spring migrants are on the move. As the weather warms, visit your local pond and submit your observations of the following five migratory species by registering your site on the MDP website: Common Green DarnerBlack Saddlebags, Wandering GliderSpot-winged Glider, and Variegated Meadowhawk.


MDP's Mission
The Migratory Dragonfly Partnership is composed of dragonfly experts, nongovernmental programs, academic institutions, and federal agencies from the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Together, we are combining research, citizen science, and education and outreach to better understand North America's migrating dragonflies and promote conservation of their wetland habitat.  

Thank you to MDP citizen scientists, Walter and Bruce for contributing photos for the newsletter!
Check out the Xerces events page for information about upcoming Migratory Dragonfly Short Courses.

The MDP produced this printable online adult dragonfly ID guide to assist project participants in identifying our five focal species.
Sign up to contribute to MDP projects! Collect and submit seasonal information about your dragonfly observations at local ponds.
Pond Watch protocols will soon add ID of dragonfly nymphs to observations made at local ponds. Stay tuned for an MDP guide to nymphs (plus exuviae) and updated protocols. Think you can ID nymphs? Click below on a nymph for 3 available online resources to start!




Common Green Darner (Anax junius) female ovipositing. 
by Walter Chadwick 



Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata)

by Walter Chadwick


Dragonfly exuvia by Bruce Fellman  



Common Green Darner, Wandering Glider, & Red Saddlebags nymphs

by John Abbott




Migratory Dragonfly Partnership
628 NE Broadway, Suite 200, Portland, OR 97232 USA

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