|Ringed Boghaunter eating a tipulid fly.|
Last summer was also a banner year for the Painted Skimmer, Libellula semifasciata! I had never seen one in the wild until last year, and we had many reports coming in of it being present in numbers never before recorded. In the early days of the MOS effort, I was convinced that this species was quite rare in Michigan. No, it is not, and it remains to be seen if these numbers stay the same. We had several localities for Painted Skimmers in Washtenaw Co., and it was numerous in the Fox Science Center wetlands, away from the main ponds. I also collected it at the edge of the bog at Rose Lake in Clinton Co. I was standing (barely) in the bog myself, and saw several within reach, and finally netted one. Darrin O'Brien and Julie Craves saw them frequently, as well.
Painted Skimmers may just be the prettiest species of Libellula I have seen. This photo was taken on June 6, and while they appear to be a late-spring early summer species, I also collected a female at Fox Science Preserve in mid-July. So, this should be an interesting year. Will they be as abundant and widespread as last year?
Work progresses towards writing the Michigan Odonata Atlas, but both Julie and I have had time limitations due to work and other issues. Darrin O'Brien has been geo-referencing the Michigan localities, and this will be very useful for us to create dot maps of actual collecting events.
Matt Hysell, Jeff Sommer, Julie and Darrin, Bob Marr, Jorie O'Brien, and Rhyne Rutherford collected for the MOS last season, bringing many good records. Matt Hysell, especially, has been collecting in the somewhat neglected Berrien and Allegan counties. Darrin O'Brien recollected Tachopteryx thoreyi at Warren Woods, and is going to be on the hunt this summer for other populations in SW Michigan.
The season is starting up here, and I had better get ready myself. Happy Ode hunting!