Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Odonates at Trout Brook Valley Preserve

In another example of our continuing survey work at the Trout Brook Valley Conservation Area of the Aspetuck Land Trust I wanted to display some of our non-bird finds in the form of odonates, the order that holds dragonflies and damselflies. Some "odes" are easy enough to note while one is surveying for birds, and Twan and I started to record them briefly at the end of last season, then beginning again in May. Still, if you want to collect the most data, you need to focus on certain habitats, search specifically for them, and carry a net.

After doing just that this past Sunday, I brought our number of ode species for Trout Brook Valley up to 20. Some are common and expected species such as Fragile Forktail, Common Green Darner, Ebony Jewelwing, and Twelve-spotted Skimmer. Others are less frequently found such as the uncommon woodland Harlequin Darner. Some require specific habitat such as the small sandy streams of the Stream Cruiser or Delta-spotted Spiketail, or the vernal pools that seem to harbor Spatterdock Darner.

I said I wanted to display them, so here are some photos!

 Delta-spotted Spiketail

 Common Baskettail

 Common Whitetail immature male that found my net on its own

 Harlequin Darner, a female who is getting late in the season

 After I released her, boom, she flew right on my head/Yankees hat to warm up again

 Lancet Clubtail

Spangled Skimmer female

While also conducting breeding bird surveys, odonates will be one of my primary focuses through the end of the summer at Trout Brook Valley and elsewhere. I hope to bring our list substantially higher with more survey time and the beginning of later flight seasons, and perhaps even record a state-listed species here.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation Technician

All photos © Scott Kruitbosch and not to be reproduced without explicit permission

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