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...

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