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