16 September 2013

Epiaeschna breeding "hotspot"

While wandering around our swamp on June 29, 2013, we found an exuvia of a male Swamp Darner (Epiaeschna heros).  This is only the 3rd specimen of an exuvia of this species from Michigan, and more interestingly, the 2nd specimen from this location! (We found the 1st specimen while walking the property prior to our purchase last year.)

This exuvia was on the only cattail in the 1.5 acre swamp in our 11-acre property in Lodi Township.

Here's an early spring scene from March-2013 which gives an idea of the habitat:

The exuvia was found in the area on the right side of the image above.

Here's an adult female that was patrolling our old field on June 26th:

Let's hope she laid more eggs for exuviae to be found in future years.

15 September 2013

Early Season Odes in Arizona

I spent a few days at the end of March, 2013, in Yuma, AZ at the Cocopah RV Park.  I knew there should be some ode potential since the season had been abnormally warm and water sources were present such as the Colorado River and ponds created by agricultural and/or golf course runoff.

 It wasn't the most attractive area, since Border Patrol had the reservation clear vegetation along the banks of the river.  However, it made access to the water's edge much easier.

The pockets of downed vegetation also provided shelter from the breeze/wind which made finding damselflies possible.  Most were teneral or young such as this one which appeared to be a male Blue-ringed Dancer (Argia sedula):

Others were a bit more mature such as this male of the same species:

Also, present were Familiar Bluets (Enallagma civile):

Patrolling the edges were a couple Common Green Darners (Anax junius):

There was a small boat launch which helped me with a bit more access to find a Rambur's Forktail (Ischnura ramburii):

... and a female American Rubypot (Hetaerina americana):

There were also a couple of ponds.  This one wasn't maintained and only filled with water when the farmer filled the ditch to irrigate his adjacent agricultural fields.

The Spot-winged Gliders (P. hymenaea) patrolled the edges, such as this male:

Closer to the golf course, were another couple of wet spots from sprinkler runoff.  Additional species were present, such as this female Desert Firetail  (Telebasis salva):

...and this Citrine Forktail (Ischnura hastata):

... and finally this digiscoped Western Pondhawk (Erythemis collocata):

This didn't turn out to be a large number of species, but seeing this variety was great considering this was as early as March 25th.