Saturday, August 6, 2011

Rare insects at Stratford Point

Apart from all of the wonderful birds there were also two terrific and somewhat rare insects found at Stratford Point this week. Insect survey work is a part of the adaptive coastal restoration plan for Stratford Point. On Thursday, we had some helpers - the kids from summer camp at Milford Point. We will highlight more of their finds soon, but we didn't want to wait to share a couple of rarities, including this dragonfly first spotted by Coastal Center Director Frank Gallo as he and I walked out to check on bird banding nets.

This was the only one of the species we saw. He is familiar with many dragonflies but was not immediately positive on the identification of this one, knowing it was likely uncommon or rare. As the kids helped us track it down while it moved about I was able to get some photos. We were able to determine that it is a Needham's Skimmer, a rare dragonfly indeed.

Twan and I have been regularly searching for insects ourselves during our typical bird survey work to add to the master list of all life for the site. This mostly includes butterflies and moths which are relatively easy to record while searching for birds. I found this butterfly on Wednesday - a Variegated Fritillary. 

The Connecticut Butterfly Association lists it as a vagrant. Records seem to be increasing in Connecticut for the species. I expect us to find many more rare insects as we continue our survey and planning work if only because we work in or own very unique or specialized habitats in many parts of Connecticut.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation Technician

Photos  © Scott Kruitbosch

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