30 August 2007

Great Spreadwings persist

Nearly two years ago, Nannothemis and I found the first state record of Great Spreadwing (Archilestes grandis) for Michigan in northwestern Wayne County. Last year I was delinquent in checking the location in late summer/early fall. One reason for not visiting was my fear of seeing the area around the stream fully developed with office buildings and restaurants and the watercourse being destroyed by trash and runoff. As is too common in southeast Michigan, land is being gobbled up and developed for office parks, restaurants, and shopping areas. This photo from Google Maps shows the vacant land; the creek is visible snaking through the property.

The area is now completely built out; here is the site plan:

On 29 August, while running an errand during lunchtime, I decided to check the stream and development "progress". I was surprised at the amount of vegetation left intact along portions of the stream. Also, there wasn't a large amount of trash or debris in the stream, which was encouraging.
Immediately I found a male Great Spreadwing and subsequently found 2 other males and a female along ~100m of the stream. I only had 10 minutes to check the area and I would guess there were more individuals present. This is a record early date for Michigan by nearly one month.