05 July 2010

Spring Migration of Southern Species?

This year (2010) seems to have quite a flurry of southerly species in southeast Michigan. Some may successfully breed in Michigan, while other individuals may be migrants.

Citrine Forktail
(Ischnura hastata) numbers have varied year-to-year since we first found them in the state in 2002. So far this season, we've only observed them at Banotai Park (formerly Sherwood Park) in Sumpter Township, Wayne County.

Comet Darner (Anax longipes) was a rarity in years past, but we've seen multiple individuals each year recently. My first of 2010 was a male observed in Farmington Hills on May 28th. Here is a female I found at Robert H. Long Park in Commerce Township on June 28th:

Swamp Darner (Epiaeschna heros) is more common some years than others. The beginning of this season brought many individuals to several locations in the area. The first observed was in our Dearborn yard on May 27th. Here is a male found in a stalled subdivision (due to the economy?) on June 11th:

Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans) is a species we are finding throughout Wayne County in proper habitat (wooded ponds) almost every year since we obtained the first voucher for the state in 2005. On July 24th, we found a male in Sumpter Township, Wayne County for our first this year:

Spot-winged Glider (Pantala hymenaea) appeared early this year and we collected a new early date voucher for MI on May 30th. Here is a female at Humbug Marsh, Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge:

Carolina Saddlebags (Tramea carolina) are also variable in numbers year-to-year. This is another good year and I saw 2 males on May 27th in Farmington Hills. We've seen a number of individuals at several sites early in the season. On June 10th, I found this male at the Novi Wetlands mitigation site at the south end of Lakeshore Park:

Others?: I'm sure there are many more species and records of note such as the Red Saddlebags (Tramea onusta) found in Port Perry, Ontario on July 6th and reported on the Great Lakes Odes listserv. I'd encourage others to get out in the field and help fill in the gaps for Michigan. Some of the species noted above are missing on the county lists of SE MI. Check out the MOS database.

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