28 August 2005

Some more L. vibrans, and a Panamanian damsel

For the first time in weeks, Stylurus and I went out to look for odes this weekend. It's Aeshna season, yet we saw not a single one. We did find his namesake fairly readily -- Arrow Clubtails, Stylurus spiniceps, were patrolling the Huron River. We spent some time looking for the state-threatened Russet-tipped Clubtail, Stylurus plagiatus, a species I discovered in the county five years or so ago. I've only found them on one stretch of the Huron, and they can usually be located perched in the surrounding vegetation. A thorough beating of the bushes did not yield any; we did have a tentative sighting on the river, but the lighting wasn't the best.

We returned to a couple of the spots I'd discovered on my bike earlier this summer. They were much drier, allowing further exploration. We were able to get right next to a mucky shallow pond in the woods, adjacent to the Huron, and were rewarded with the sight of at least three male Great Blue Skimmers, a species we'd only just confirmed for the state in July. We took one voucher for this new site, and I didn't even fall in the stinky mud.

Meanwhile, I've been working through the identifications of odonata I photographed on my recent tropical trip, a task that could not be accomplished without the expert opinions of Dennis Paulson, Nick Donnelly, and Sid Dunkle. One of the cooler damselflies I saw was an Acanthagrion, or wedgetail. The Mexican Wedgetail (Acanthagrion quadratum) occurs in the southwestern U.S., but I've never seen one. This photo is likely A. trilobatum. You can see how they got their name. I'll post a list of positively ID'd species soon, as well as more photos. I'll be providing my photos to Paulson's Odonata Biodiversity web pages, which were a great resource for me.

No comments: