Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Checklist of the Odonata of south-central Hastings County

An unofficial checklist, the picture will be rounded out when the NHIC's new Ontario Odonata Atlas goes online. The warmer months of 2014 have seen seven additions to last year's list of the Dragonflies and Damselflies of south-central Hastings County, bringing the total count for this area of Ontario up to 86 species. In chronological order ...

(1) Northern Bluet (Enallagma annexum), male
May 27, 2014
Trans-Canada Trail, east of Tweed
44.48083°, -77.29861°
Abundant, plenty of other males and females were sighted and it appears that this odonate has a bimodal flight season, flying in spring and again in late summer

(2) Stygian Shadowdragon (Neurocordulia yamaskanensis), male
May 31, 2014
East of Tweed – Moira River, the Point
44.47694°, -77.30194°
A total of two adults and some exuviae were encountered

(3) Rusty Snaketail (Ophiogomphus rupinsulensis), male
Observed and photographed by J. King
June 15, 2014
Lost Channel Road bridge over Moira River, near Paradise Lane
44.38019°, -77.31537°

(4) Delta-spotted Spiketail (Cordulegaster diastatops), female
June 26, 2014
Victoria Street in downtown Tweed
44.47472°, -77.31028°
Sad to say, this individual was roadkill

(5) Eastern Least Clubtail (Stylogomphus albistylus), female
July 31, 2014
Tweed – Moira River shoreline, between the bridges at Bridge St. (the dam) and Louisa St.
44.479167°, -77.310762°
A male was photograhed a week later at the Vanderwater Conservation Area

(6) Forcipate Emerald (Somatochlora forcipata), male
August 11, 2014
East Hungerford Road – the Stoco Fen
44.467126°, -77.235450°

(7) Lake Darner (Aeshna eremita), male
September 15, 2014
A marsh west of Tweed
44.46889°, -77.31528°
Another male and a female were encountered east of Tweed a few days later

A friend photographed a Painted Skimmer (Libellula semifasciata) and an uncommon color form of a Four-spotted Skimmer (Libellula quadrimaculata praenubila), both encounters occurred in early June west of Eldorado.

Painted Skimmer (Libellula semifasciata), male
Photo by T. Mapes

Four-spotted Skimmer (Libellula quadrimaculata praenubila), male
Photo by T. Mapes

A couple of dragonflies that haven't been around since 2009 returned for an encore. In early September three Mottled Darners (Aeshna clepsydra) were observed patrolling along the north shore of Stoco Lake. Two Saffron-winged Meadowhawks (Sympetrum costiferum) were encountered at Dry Lake near Marlbank in late August, a month later another a female S. costiferum was seen foraging in a patch of wildflowers near the intersection of the trans-Canada Trail and Lakeview Lane.

Although generally considered to be uncommon the Arrowhead Spiketail (Cordulegaster obliqua) can be found in this part of the county on a regular basis. During the month of June one female and two males were spotted at the sand-bottomed woodland stream where Spiketail naiads (and lots of them!) were discovered last year. And although no adults were observed three large Cordulegaster naiads were also found in a stream a couple of kilometers further east.

The Slender Bluets (Enallagma traviatum westfalli) of Stoco Lake have certainly been fruitful and multiplying, with over fifty encountered between June 26th and September 10th. These damselflies were likely flying earlier in the season as the first one sighted appeared to be at least one week old.

On the negative side a couple of expected (albeit uncommon) "regulars" – the Swift River Cruiser (Macromia illinoiensis illinoiensis) and the Azure Bluet (Enallagma aspersum) – were a no-show. Maybe next year ...