Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Catching Up

I know I don't post to this blog as often as I should, and I have accumulated some material from the summer season that I had originally wanted to do as short posts. Back in June (June...that was like months ago!!) I managed to get some collecting in at Sturgeon Bay Wilderness Area, which is S of Wilderness State Park on the NW shore of Michigan in Emmet County. It's a beautiful location, with small pools along the beach area. The pools are perennial, ringed with lots of small sedges and other aquatic plants, and are very fen-like. They also happen to be good habitats for species such as Amphiagrion saucium, the Eastern Red Damsel, and Nannothemis bella, the Elfin Skimmer. At some point, these ponds also attract Pantala species, as well as Sympetrum danae.

The last time I collected there, it was October 2010, and there were a few darners and many Sympetrum around. The odes were abundant back on June 25, and I saw a few things that merit mentioning here. I did catch several Somatochlora walshii, which I associate with fens. The specimens I captured were either feeding on the lee side of some pines or hanging from a branch. One pair was in copula. There were numerous Libellula quadrimaculata, and what was strange were the two emergences. While there were many very mature individuals with dull coloration, there was a slew of fresh, very colorful, recently-emerged adults that had the "praenubila" wing coloration variant.

Oh, and catching an Ophiogomphus rupinsulensis near the beach was gratifying, but strange. I also collected Libellula pulchella, Basiaeschna janata, and Gomphaeschna furcillata.