06 November 2008

70F in November

Who would think that we'd have 70 degrees F during the first week of November in southeast Michigan? This prompted me to get out during lunch periods to look for late odes and I wasn't disappointed.

Monday, November 3: I was searching for Rusty Blackbirds in the wet woods of Lakeshore Park in Novi (Oakland County). A nearly dry pond allowed me to walk around the area. Initially there were a couple of Autumn Meadowhawks (Sympetrum vicinum) flitting about and I soon realized there were several pairs of spreadwings (Lestes sp.) coupled and laying eggs on cattails.

These Spotted Spreadwings (Lestes congener) represent a new late date for Michigan. The previous late date was October 30.

Tuesday, November 4
: I decided to make another attempt to find Great Spreadwings (Archilestes grandis) at the only known location in Michigan. Nannothemis and/or myself had made a few checks earlier in the season and feared they weren't present in the Livonia location this year.

Initially I found a male Fragile Forktail (Ischnura posita) which represented a new late date for Michigan. The previous late date was October 16. There were two males and two females present. Here's one female:
Within minutes a female Great Spreadwing (A. grandis) landed in front of me. Not only did I confirm their population was still present but it represented a new late date for Michigan. The previous late date was October 16. There were two or three males and one female present.
The female:

Here's the last male I observed:
Also present was one male Autumn Meadowhawk (Sympetrum vicinum). Not a late date but getting close to the record of November 13.

I doubt I'll find any further late dates this year since a cold front will arrive in the next day and we'll return to typical November weather with highs in the 40s (which doesn't normally include flying insects).


Anonymous said...

Hi - I found your site through Nature Blog Network. You have some wonderful photographs of odonates, although I see the cold weather has reduced your activity for the time being.

I'm building a comprehensive "Insects & Invertebrates" blogroll at my site and have gone ahead and added you to it. I hope you consider dropping by and perhaps linking to it, Beetles In The Bush.


Darrin OBrien said...

Thanks, Ted. Yes, it's a bit cold in MI for dragonflies this time of year. If we make a warm weather trip this winter, we'll have further posts. If not, maybe we'll have a post for the first Common Green Darner of the year (around April).

Anonymous said...

Morning! I'm a Texas native with a pond in the city. I'm not an entomologist, just a fan of the creature. We see more dragonflies than damselflies in my backyard. I see you haven't posted in forever. I hope you aren't abandoning your blog now that I've found it!

Darrin OBrien said...

Donna, don't worry...we've just returned from Nicaragua. Winter is a slow time for insects in Michigan so we had to head south. We're working out the IDs and will be posting soon of our Nica trip.