18 March 2008

Nannothemis and I attended the PIF (Partners in Flight) conference in McAllen, TX in mid-February. Of course, we scheduled a couple free days since the lower Rio Grande valley is a great place to search for insects and birds. There are many great locations to explore in the vicinity. During our short trip we visited Santa Ana NWR, Quinta Mazatlan World Birding Center, Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, the NABA Butterfly Park, Estero Llano Grande State Park, Old Hidalgo Pumphouse World Birding Center, Laguna Atascosa NWR, and the Sabal Palm Audubon Center.

Dragonfly variety is mid-February is limited, but we did find several species including Citrine Forktail (Ischnura hastata), Common Green Darner (Anax junius), Great Pondhawk (Erythemis vesiculosa), Band-winged Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax umbrata), and Roseate Skimmer (Orthemis ferruginea).

Band-winged Dragonlet, Santa Ana NWR (a more typical place than Michigan!)

Great Pondhawk, Santa Ana NWR

We did even better with butterflies. We found some rarities and some cool-looking species.

Double-dotted Skipper, Sabal Palm

Sickle-winged Skipper, Sabal Palm

It was good to get a little sun and see some bugs again!