Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Another Stream full of Spiketails!

It seems like in another month to six weeks I'm going to have to be in two places at once. Just west of the intersection of the Sulphide Road and the trans-Canada Trail is a woodland steam with a sandy bottom.

Ideal Spiketail breeding habitat, it definitely looked like it was worth checking out, and sure enough there was a female Spiketail naiad in my second handful sand. She's about 40 mm in length and should emerge for her final molt to adulthood in a few weeks.

Needless to say these naiads they are impossible to spot when they are in full stealth mode, buried with only their eyes exposed.

The Spiketails are also doing well in the stream where I first encountered them. There's a lot more happening now than back in the middle of January.

It didn't take much effort to dredge up a couple more female naiads, one about 25 mm long and the other 45 mm.

Late last autumn my efforts to ascertain the species proved inconclusive, though I was able to narrow the possibilities down to either the Arrowhead Spiketail (Cordulegaster obliqua) or the Twin-spotted Spiketail (Cordulegaster maculata), with what little data I had weighted in favor the latter. Rather than trying to monitor two streams separated by almost two kilometers, in another couple of weeks or so I'm going to capture a couple or three larvae and try to raise them.

It's been ten months since I first discovering the naiads, with some luck and a little more patience I'm going to find out what they are soon ...