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1373Short life cycle for Pantala

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  • Robert Larsen
    Aug 11, 2013
      Just as a note of interest on the incredibly short life cycle of the Wandering Glider (Pantala flavescens).  After three years of catastrophic drought* here in southern New Mexico and west Texas we have received some rain this year which formed ephemeral pools.  Here in Roswell, New Mexico a pool formed in Enchanted Park behind a berm in the park to catch water during storms.  That ephemeral pond was formed by the first large rain storm here on June 30, 2013.  On August 5th there was a mass emergence of (Pantala flavescens) from that ephemeral berm pond.  That would indicate that the complete life cycle of the Wandering Glider here was only 37 days form oviposition to their emergence.  It is very similar to the shortest 35 day life cycle that was posted for the Wandering Glider in India by Arun Kumar, and shorter than his average of 42 days to emergence.    
      The Wandering Gliders in flight here were being preyed upon by aerial feeding Mississippi Kites which also nest in the park every year. The Burrowing Owls used to nest in the park and feed on dragonflies, but the owls have been gone for several years now. 
      Robert R. Larsen
      906 E. Orange St.
      Roswell, New Mexico 88201-7440

      * Note: The three years of severe drought was catastrophic because there was nothing for the cattle and horses to eat on the Southern High Plains.  In the last year alone some 750,000 to 850,000 cows and horses passed through New Mexico's Santa Teresa Border Crossing into Mexico to be slaughtered for human consumption rather than have the animals starve in place. That made New Mexico the largest foreign exporter of agricultural products in the United States, but decimated the cattle industry on the Southern Plains. The drought is not over and national opposition to slaughtering 9,000 to 10,000 horses for human consumption this year here in Roswell has led to arson at the packing plant and threats to murder the owner and his family if the plant opens under a recently issued USDA permit to slaughter horses, the Federal Court has issued a temporary hold on the opening of the plant here in Roswell.  

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