03 October 2012

Waiting on a "Friend"

On Sunday, July 8th, I decided to add Red Saddlebags (Tramea onusta) for Lenawee County since this is a year when this species has moved north in huge numbers.  Almost anyplace you find Black Saddlebags (T. lacerata) you have a good chance to see the smaller red cousin which acts like it wants to dominate the water's surface.

I ended up at a future business park outside of Tecumseh.  Roads were completed, but no businesses, yet.  The weedy fields provided upland areas for a variety of insects and birds such as: Vesper and Savannah Sparrows.  A large water retention basin provided habitat for a good variety of odes.  Almost immediately upon my arrival a Red Saddlebags (T. onusta) flew past just out of the net's reach.

A breeze was present so I positioned myself on the downwind side of the pond in hopes that sparring dragonflies would get pushed within reach of my net.   Unfortunately, there was no vegetation surrounding the basin so I couldn't conceal my presence... and the odes seemed to know why I was present.  Several individuals of T. onusta flew past, always out of the reach of my net.  Of course, the incline of the pool's edge prevented me from wading in.  The mud and steep slope would be too slippery.

Over the next hour, I walked the entire perimeter at least twice, but the total distance was likely four times that.  The best chances for capture occurred when a coupled pair worked against the breeze and other bachelors wanted in on the action.  However, they always were pushed towards the middle of the pond.

Later in the afternoon, I was making one last trip near the northern edge and an individual "checked me out".  This allowed me to "check him out":