Friday, 17 June 2011

Dragonfly Report to June 16, 2011

Here is the latest odanate report from Carol Seymour, our "dragonfly lady":

After the deluge of rain and cloudy days of May both humans and dragonflies alike have come out of the shadows into the sun. The first continuous days of warmth and sunshine triggered the emergence of thousands of dragonflies in the Kingston area. The list of newly emerged species is extensive and some are quite interesting.

All four of the Baskettail species are now out, in fact the Beaverpond and Spiny are already beginning to decrease in numbers, though the Common and Pince Baskettail are out in prodigious numbers. And no, they do not carry baskets from their tails as the name might suggest. All of the females of the Baskettail dragonfly collect their eggs beneath their tails, as if in a basket, then when ready the eggs are dispersed onto the surface of a pond or wetland. Female Elfin Skimmers have been spotted in their black and yellow stripes hovering around flowers, looking much like bees - an excellent disguise to keep predators away, much needed when you are the smallest dragonfly in North American. Other species seen recently are: Chalk-fronted Corporals, Eastern Pondhawks, Sedge Sprites, Lancet Clubtails, Common Whitetails, Twelve-spotted Skimmers, Four-spotted Skimmers, Frosted Whiteface, Marsh Bluets, Boreal Bluets, Northern Bluets, Eastern Forktails, Fragile Forktails, Widow Skimmers, Arrowhead Spiketails (the ovipositor on the female of this species is in the shape of a spike, which is rammed many times into the sandy bottom of a pond or shallow creek to deposit her eggs). Also seen flying were Raqet-tailed Emeralds, Ebony Boghaunters, Belted Whiteface, Lilypad Clubtails, Blue Dashers, Dusky Clubtails, Calico Pennants, Halloween Pennants, Amber-winged Spreadwings, Emerald Spreadwings, Aurora Damsels, Taiga Bluets and Violet Dancers, and let us not forget the beautiful and recently observed in our area again, the Harlequin Darner, one of our earlier darners dressed in harlequin colours of green and yellow.   

                                                     Elfin Skimmer  Photo:  Bruce Ripley

                                           Harlequin Darner    Photo:  Murray Seymour

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