Sunday, June 9, 2019

WDS 2019 Meeting Summary

With the slow warm up and excessive rain this spring, I was a little concerned that there would be a dearth of dragonflies at the 2019 annual meeting.  However, we had quite a few things flying around.  Snaketails were emerging as we were exploring the river banks.  We didn’t find many adults other than Rusty Snaketail, but Dan did manage to find this Pygmy Snaketail emerging.  Jeff’s group also found a teneral St. Croix Snaketail.

There were swarms of baskettails (including Beaverpond and Spiny), Cruisers were on the wing, and several other species of Clubtails made appearances.  We saw Skillet, Cobra, Midland, Rapids, Dusky, and some beautiful Green-faced Clubtails. 

We had several good educational moments.  We discussed bluet identification, how to differentiate Rapids from Green-faced (with both in hand), and discussed Whiteface IDs.  We also received a dragonfly history lesson when we were able to visit the site where the St. Croix Snaketail was first discovered.  As a topper we stopped at a site for the Karner Blue Butterfly…we appreciate all our incredible insects!

I really feel that it went well.  Thanks Jeff, Matt, and Dan for helping scout and lead field trips.  Also thank everyone else who participated!  I had to leave before the cookout, so I am a little sad I missed out on the end of the meeting, but I hope all that attended had a good time.  Jeff was the point person for all the organizing, so when you see him please say thank you.
Pygmy Snaketail

Green-faced Clubtail

Good times!

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Starting to pop!

The end of this past week has finally brought about some emerging Odonates.  I know that many of you have been frustrated with the cool, slow spring, but we are finally trending in the right direction.  I had four species at Truax pond in Eau Claire Co. on Thursday, seven at Hoffman Hills in Dunn Co.on Saturday, and ten at Coon Forks In Eau Claire Co. today.

I hope that the warmer...and dryer forecast allows for rivers to calm and Snaketails to emerge prior to the St. Croix River area event next weekend.  I am feeling good!  Get out there, I expect things to start popping!

Beaverpond Baskettail at Coon Forks

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Haunting the bog...check! What's next?

In my last blog I indicated that the first phase of Odonate hunting for me was boghaunters.  Well I am happy to say that I found my first locally emerged Odonata yesterday at Coon Forks County Park.  I found a couple of Ebony Boghaunters emerging, and collected some exuvia at the marsh.  I also round a pair of Ringed Boghaunters after an exhaustive search of the sporadic sunny patches near the marsh.  It would have been easier if the persistant clouds would have cooperated.  All's well that ends well I guess!

Now that local emergence is underway, get to your favorite habitats for the coming Forktails, Baskettails, and Whitefaces!  Enjoy the rapid expansion of species diversity over the next few weeks.  By the time June rolls in, I will have Gomphid fever.  Maybe we can scratch the itching together at Interstate Park...see you soon!

Ebony Boghaunter emerging

Ringed Boghaunters - male and female...she landed a few feet from the male as I was taking photos
The next generation about to begin?

One more of the male because he is pretty.

Friday, March 15, 2019

First things first...Boghaunters!

Hi all! 

I hope that you are well, and finding a way to avoid excessive erosion and water in your homes from all the rain and snowmelt.  Now that we have this website, I am going to strive to use it.  I hope to give you all some things to think about, or at least get you excited to get out and find some Odes.  I will largely be ignoring proper English, so I apologize for any misspellings and local colloquialisms.

I spend a ridiculous amount of time following the weather in the spring.  I keep looking for the first stretch of 60 degree days that may lead to a Common Green Darner returning to the pond.  Despite the mundane name, that first Common Green of the year is one of the most hopeful and beautiful things that I will see all year. 

What happens after I see that Common Green is a little more labor intensive.  I am fortunate to have a site for both of the Williamsonia species (Ebony and Ringed Boghaunter) less than half an hour from my house.  There is such a short window to find the Boghaunters, that I obsess about getting out to see them.  Not only because they are incredibly cool, but that is reason enough for me.  Also because it is very important personally, and scientifically as well, to monitor populations of these rare insects. 

Ebony Boghaunter

Ebony Boghaunter Range in WI
If you live near a marsh (think Sphagnum), I challenge you to get out to one in early to mid-May (or even a little later if spring is late) to see what you find.  You might be surprised!  Or you could take a trip to a known site just to see them for your own edification.  Even a sighting at a known location is scientifically important and worth reporting to the WOS.  Monitoring populations over time is important!


Ringed Boghaunter Range in WI

Ebony Boghaunters are uncommon in scattered sites around central and northern Wisconsin.  Ringed Boghaunters are rare and are found in isolated locations in central Wisconsin.  The flight season is only a few weeks for both of these species so you have to move quickly.  Look for sunlight hitting trees or branches near the ground to see if a Boghaunter is around.  I often see them perched a few feet up on red pine trunks.  Good hunting, and bring on spring!


Ringed Boghaunter

Sunday, March 25, 2018