Migration of Insects

Some species of insect move from one part of the world to another at the same time every year.

This seasonal movement is known as migration.

Insects may migrate for thousands of miles.

The globe skimmer dragonfly, also known as the wandering glider, is the insect with the longest known migration.

This dragonfly migrates across the Indian Ocean, from India to the Maldives. It then travel to the Seychelles, then to Mozambique and finally to Uganda, a journey of about 11,000 miles.

The monarch butterfly is famous for its 3,000 mile migration from Canada and the northern United States to central Mexico.

Because individual insects have short lifespans, a generation would probably not survive a long migration in both directions. Instead, insects breed along the way, so that the entire migration is completed by a number of different generations.

Some entomologists think that migratory insect species breed in different parts of the world, with different environmental conditions, in order to increase the species' overall chance of survival.

When migrating, insects may use the Sun for navigation if they are flying during the day. Insects that fly at night may depend on the Earth's magnetic field to orient themselves.

Migrating insects may fly along very fast wind currents in order to speed up their journeys.