Monday, August 09, 2010

Clamp-tipped Emerald spotted in Manistee Co.

Today, I received an e-mail from David Dister:

Dear Mark:

Today while checking a wetland area along the Little Manistee River (where I had discovered a massasuaga rattlesnake two summers ago), I noticed a quite distinctive dragonfly I was not familiar with. I managed to get a few marginal, though diagnostic, photos, and upon returning to my car and references, it appears to be Somatochlora tenebrosa. I have attached a few photos for your reference. The state mapping for this species on your website has Manistee County darkened, but the list of vouchers indicates only Benzie County records in the northwest LP.

With such a limited range, I was a bit surprised that this species did not have a Special Concern status in Michigan. In any event, the basic data on the location is as follows:

  • Manistee Co., Stronach Township, Manistee National Forest; T21N/ R 16W/Section 23
  • Feature: Flying and perching in scrub-shrub/emergent marsh wetlands on north side of Little Manistee River
  • August 8, 2010 Dave Dister
  • Sex: Male
  • Notes: Photo voucher only

While I am not surprised that David found S. tenebrosa in Manistee Co. (Carl Freeman had many collections of it in nearby Benzie Co.), the indication is that he found it in a fen, as that's also a place to find the Massasauga rattlers! Maybe we should be looking at known Massasauga sites and see if Somatochlora tenebrosa is also there. Sometimes the answer stares right at us and we don't see it for a long time.

Hopefully, we will get a specimen vouchered for the site, and I am glad that David was alert to realizing he was seeing an uncommonly-collected species in MI.

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