Thursday, August 01, 2013

Golden-Winged Skimmer Incursion into Michigan.

L. auripennis in Jackson Co., courtesy of Craig Robson.
Earlier this summer, Rick Nirschl collected the first Michigan record of Libellula auripennis in Washtenaw County at the powerline ROW in Nan Weston Preserve.  There is a small fen there, and the specimen was photographed and collected by Rick and Curt Powell.  Obviously, a great find, and then the question becomes -- is it a one-off vagrant or an indication that there may be others? One observation means a new state record, a second site means that the species is perhaps establishing a beach head in SE Michigan.  That second site turned up today as I received an e-mail from Dave Cuthrell, forwarding an email from Craig Robson who photographed a Golden-winged Skimmer at the Grand River fen in Jackson County on July 30. That second sighting is very important, and it's possible that the species will be found elsewhere in S Michigan. Libellula auripennis is typically a SE US and Gulf Coast species, with a few scattered records S of the Great Lakes, in central OH and N Indiana.  It will be interesting to see what happens in Michigan.

On another front, the Xerces Society has a new program out called "Dragonfly Pond Watch Project." It looks to be an interesting endeavor, and should engage a bunch of citizen-scientists to record both migratory and resident odes across the country.  It's part of the Migratory Dragonfly Partnership, and the Xerces Society has a really good PR and web presence.  I encourage you to give the site a look!

1 comment:

Matt said...

A buddy of mine photographed one here in Berrien too, we haven't caught one yet though