Hundreds of Dragonflies!
July 5, 2012
(Kevin) Love the info and pics you share. Are you any place where you can see the hundreds of dragonflies these last few mornings? They fly over the tall grass between our house and pond catching the sun on their wings. Beautiful with so many of them. I’ve noticed them at the new Dewey Short Visitor Center (where I work) this past few days also. Would like to hear more about them. Sherryl. W.
Hi Sherryl: I have noticed quite a few recently. I’m not very well-versed on the Odonata, but we did witness an unusual phenomenon a few years ago–a migration of dragonflies. We were in the backyard and noticed a huge number of dragonflies flying over. They weren’t circling around, they were all flying in the same direction, NE to SW. Lindsay finally managed to catch one and I submitted the photo to Bugguide, where it was IDed as Pantala hymenaea. I did some Internet research and discovered that a species in the same genus makes the longest insect migration known. Here’s the link to the BG discussion, with some of the info I found: http://bugguide.net/node/view/430393 Kevin
Sherryl, There is a nice article on dragonflies in the current issue of Audubon magazine Chris B.
By Kevin Firth
July 7, 2012
Hi Gang: Steve Craig and I went hunting at Wilson’s Creek this morning. It’s always nice to go with Steve because he knows plants much better than I. Swallowtails are still pretty scarce–I think we saw one Spicebush and one Pipevine. We did, however, see a large number of Hackberry Emperors, so it seems that they are now on the wing. Steve and I were speculating on what effect the cooler weather that we are supposed to be getting this week will have on the leps.
Speaking of emperors, I was reading my Wagner this morning, and noticed that only the Tawny Emperor larvae are gregarious, not the Hackberry. So the large group of larvae I found at Bois D’Arc last week should be Tawny Emperors (Asterocampa clyton).
I think these are Datana ministra, but they can be difficult to tell apart.
I took these three over to the BH and will do the same with the rest when they eclose.
All the best, Kevin