10 September 2011

Flag-tailed Spinyleg confirmed for Lenawee County

We had heard that Flag-tailed Spinylegs (Dromogomphus spoliatus) were observed at Indian Crossing Trails Park in Tecumseh in the mid-August. This is only the third location they've been observed in Michigan so we had to confirm the record. The first record was from Oakwoods Metropark in Wayne County and earlier this August a photograph was obtained of an individual at Pte. Mouillee SGA in Monroe County.

We arrived to the park late in the morning on August 27, 2011 and almost immediately flushed a spinyleg from the rip rap bordering the millpond next to the community center. We obtained several photographs at a distance, but they were very skittish.
Some through binoculars:

and others with Julie's macro lens:

Now the challenge was to net one. We worked the edge of the dam repeatedly, trying to get in a position to approach the individuals without casting a shadow and having room for a swing of the net. After 45 minutes or so, I was able to trap one on a flat piece of concrete with Julie helping to herd it. This male (D. spoliatus) confirms the record for Lenawee county and was one of ~10 individuals present:

...and this photo shows its spiny legs and the flag tail:

While chasing the target species, we found several other great dragonflies. A couple Black-shouldered Spinyleg (Dromogomphus spinosus), such as this male:

A few Royal River Cruisers (Macromia taeniolata), with this male possibly representing the first record for Lenawee County:

Many Smoky Rubyspots (Hetaerina titia), which seem to be everywhere this year:

A few Eastern Amberwings (Perithemis tenera), such as this female:

We also had heard that a Dragonhunter (Hagenius brevistylus) or two had been observed recently, but no luck this day. We had observed a male a few years ago, but couldn't obtain any photos. Indian Crossing Trails Park is a must for a return visit in the future.


KaHolly said...

Fabulous find! Great photos!

Darrin OBrien said...

thanks, hopefully we'll find some more in the remaining weeks of the season

Unknown said...

Nice close pictures of that insects
non voice projects

Darrin OBrien said...

thanks, we only have a few more weeks to find the final flying adults of the season here in MI