Saturday, July 07, 2007

Bioblitz Day 3

Today wasn't the most productive in terms of adding more species to the Bioblitz lists, but I did manage to go into the UMBS collection and gather data from the specimens there to add to the MOS database. In the process, I was able to add Lestes eurinus to the UMBS list.

I have it pretty easy... I think we ended up with 31 species of Odonata for the three days, and when I peeked in at the moth sorting by Brian Scholtens and David Wagner, I knew that they must be tired from being up late and sorting and identifying all day...which means they will probably have the biggest species list for any single group.
sorting myriads of moths
Moth sorting!

I was able to get out thgis afternoon, but with the stiff breeze, I did not see too much, except for the species we have already seen. I did get a few photos, though of some Enallagma carunculatum mating.
mating Enallagma carunculatum

The total thus far stands at 31 species, based upon adult sightings, collected specimens, and exuviae.

Amphiagrion saucium, Enallagma carunculatum, Enallagma hageni, Enallagma cyathigerum, Enallagma ebrium, Enallagma vesperum, Nehalennia irene
Calopteryx aequabilis, Calopteryx maculata
Lestes dryas, Lestes disjunctus, Lestes forcipatus
Hagenius brevistylus, Dromogomphus spinosus, Progomphus obscurus, Gomphus spicatus, Gomphus fraternus
Aeshna canadensis, Boyeria vinosa, Basiaeschna janata
Macromia illinoiensis
Epitheca princeps, Epitheca cynosura
Celithemis elisa, Leucorrhinia frigida, Libellula luctuosa, Libellula pulchella, Libellula quadrimaculata, Plathemis lydia, Nannothemis bella, Sympetrum obtrusum

Friday, July 06, 2007

UMBS Bioblitz Day 2

Today was another one of those cloud-free days that should be just great for Odonata. In the morning, Adrienne and I checked out the area near Reeses' Swamp on the N shore of Burt Lake, and came up with only a few sightings/specimens. Carp creek runs through this area and into Burt Lake. The surrounding wetlands are spruce-cedar dominanted with birch and alders. I think this could be a good spot for some Somatochloras, but I did not see any -- and we may be a bit early. We did see and catch Amphiagrion saucium here though. I also chased down a Gomphus spicatus female that eventually got away. Sighted were Dromogomphus spinosus, Libellula pulchella, Hagenius brevistylus and I caught some Enallagma carunculatum at the shore of Burt Lake.

Afternoon was better...
students collecting
Students from Steve Pruett-Jones' class at Marl Bay.

In the afternoon, I joined Steve Pruett-Jones' class, and we motored over on pontoon boats to Sedge Point, followed by Marl Bay. The students were a lively bunch, and had a great time swinging nets to try and catch some odes. The small sandy-bottomed ponds at Sedge Point remined me a bit of some of the interdunal ponds along the shore of Lake Michigan in the UP. We were too early for any Aeshna species, though a student found two aeshnid exuviae which I'll need to ID later.

We did pretty well at Sedge Point, finding 14 species without too much hunting around. Enallagma hageni, ebrium and carunculatum were there together. The nice find was Sympetrum obtrusum as well as Leucorrhinia frigida. I am sure the place is thick with Leucorrhinia in May and June, and the lone Libellula quadrimaculata is a lone holdout from the spring. The ponds there were jumping with Lestes, and three species (for now) were collected: Lestes dryas, Lestes unguiculata and Lestes forcipata. Subject to change after I get them under the microscope. Spreadwings are a pain to field ID -- or at least some of them are.

We then went over to the other side of the Lake, to Marl Bay. Unsure of the depth and situation, our driver anchored in 2 feet of water and we hopped into the warm water. I had to watch for those nesting cavities created by sunfish, lest I trip and get soaked. The first thing we saw there was Celithemis elisa, the Calico Pennant, and eventually, one of the students snagged one. Having so many hands and eyes was very helpful. We also picked up the first Libellula luctuosa of the blitz, and finally collected a Libellula pulchella. A Plathemis lydia eluded us all.
Our total take for the day was 20 species, with 8 new species for the Bioblitz list, which stands at 29 species...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

UMBS Bioblitz Day 1

Today was the first day of the Bioblitz at UMBS (see previous post). A beauty of a day, and we were rewarded with 21 species of Odonata thus far.

Amphiagrion saucium, Enallagma carunculatum, Enallagma cyathigerum, Enallagma hageni, Enallgma vesperum ( a new record for the site); Nehallenia irene, Calopteryx aequabilis, Calopteryx maculata, Lestes dryas.

Basiaeschna janata, Progomphus obscurus, Hagenius brevistylus, Dromogomphus spinosus, Epitheca princeps, Epitheca cynosura, Macromia illinoiensis, Nannothemis bella, Plathemis lydia, Libellula pulchella, Libellula quadrimaculata, Sympetrum sp.
Progomphus obscurus
The Common Sanddragons were abundant along the lakeshore.

Hagenius brevistylus, the Dragon Hunter
The Dragonhunters were also numerous and not jittery.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Bioblitz at UMBS


I'm heading N on Wednesday to participate in the UM Biological Station's "bioblitz." No, it's not a bunch of blitzed biologists, but an endeavor to inventory the flora and fauna of the station over a couple of days. Generally, they are helpful in garnering interest in biodiversity of a given place, and it gets people all excited about looking for species. Specifically, they are useful some groups, but can only tell you so much, since these things take place only over a short period. A place like the UMBS has been sampled repeatedly for years for some organisms, and probably very rarely for others. However, in my search of our cataloged Odonata, I discovered that while there are records of 62 species from the vicinity of Douglas Lake, some species that should be more commonly represented in the database, are in fact, single specimens. I'm expecting that we will add some more numbers to the data, and possibly some additional species.

Douglas Lake isn't without some biotic changes. In recent years, several people have reported an alarming number of larval Odonata with zebra mussels situated on the backs of species such as Hagenius brevistylus and Didymops transversa. How that will influence what we will find may be a factor that I had not counted on. See my previous post on this topic.

The last published list of Odonata from UMBS was done a very long time ago by Arthur T. Evans in 1916. Abigail O'Brien published a short list in 1910. It ought to be interesting to see what comparisons can be made 91 years later.