Scientists first discovered this trait when they were studying the insect's genes. They found that the genes from insects in Asia and those in America shared a very similar structure. This would not be possible due to the distance between them unless they migrated. They further studied the finding and discovered that dragonflies from all over the world showed a very similar genetic makeup. "This is the first time anyone has looked at genes to see how far these insects have traveled," said Jessica Ware in her report. "The insect is showing characteristics that we initially did not expect at all."
The findings prove that the insects got around a lot, but the reason for their worldwide tour is still a mystery. Ware believes that the primary reason for its migration is mating and reproduction. It requires a wet environment to mate and therefore in times of drought in Asia it migrates to Africa where the weather is much more conducive.
They are able to fly for this long due to their body structure. They are able to widen their wingspan to help them glide on the wind. This allows them to move great distances without fatigue.