As we progress with the survey, we want to get an idea of which species are in each county and where any range expansions (or contractions) are occurring. This is especially of interest as we expect more southern species to migrate up and establish populations in Ohio.
Below are three such species that we really want to document their new ranges (or see if they are incidental observations).
Rambur’s Forktail (Ischnura ramburii):
This species has been reported at water garden stores that bring up vegetation from southern states. As of yet, we are considering these populations as incidental until we can find them in more sites and not just in places that regularly import materials from southern locations. Do keep an eye out the next time you are at a water garden. It looks very similar to the Eastern Forktail, but has a slightly different color pattern on the terminal appendage. Note the amount of black on S9 for males. Bugguide link. Odonata Central Link.
Rough sketch of male Rambur’s Forktail terminal appendage patterning by MaLisa Spring. Created in MS paint, so apologies for proportions.
Rough sketch of male Eastern Forktail terminal appendage patterning by MaLisa Spring. Created in MS paint, so apologies for proportions.
Swift Spreadwing (Dythemis velox):
Now known from five sites across the state in Greene, Champaign, Montgomery, and Muskingum County. These are distinct in how they hold their wings forward and have black wing tips. It is likely that this is now across most of the state, but we just need to document it. If you see one please get photo documentation and if possible collect a specimen (given landowner permission). Bugguide link. Odonata Central Link.
Swift Setwing posing with it’s characteristic wing posture. Keep an eye out for these wonderful dragons as they expand their range. Who knows, they might already be in your backyard! Photo by MaLisa Spring
Golden-Winged Skimmer (Libellula auripennis):
An uncommon sight, but this specimen was the third record for the state that was found during Odo-Con-17. This one was potentially blown up on the hurricane remnants a few days before the conference, but hard to be sure. If you see one, be sure to document and get good photos of the wing venation and thorax. Bugguide link. Odonata Central Link.
Dorsal view of Golden-winged Skimmer. Much more common in southern states and very similar to Needham’s skimmer. Photo by MaLisa Spring
Side (lateral) view of Golden-winged Skimmer. Much more common in southern states and very similar to Needham’s skimmer. Photo by MaLisa Spring
Also keep an eye out:
New State Record of a Belted Whiteface (Ladona proxima) by Rick Nirschl and confirmed on Odonata Central.
Potential for Scelionid wasps (egg parasitoids) hitching a ride on the abdomens of dragons and damsels. As of yet undocumented in Odonata, but a recent blog post from North Carolina suggests that they might be around. Dr. Norm Johnson at the Museum of Biological Diversity is particularly interested in these records. If you see any, try to catch a few specimens as it is likely to be a species new to science. The challenge is actually seeing them in the first place. If you think you have some in your collection, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Finally, I want to end this post with a few upcoming buggy events for interested naturalists. Not all Odonata related, but anytime you are outside is a chance to see more Odonata! These are not paid advertisements and are up to the discretion of MaLisa Spring to post and share them.
July 23: Warriors on the Wing. Circleville, Ohio. Join the ODNR, Jim Lemon, and others as they search Stage’s Pond State Nature Preserve for cool Odes!
July 29: Saturday Night Lights – see ad below. Rockbridge, Ohio
Aug 5: Bugstraveganza – see ad below. Groveport, Ohio. I will be there in addition to Bob Glotzhober and Bob Restifo. Great kids event.
Aug 4-6: 3rd Annual Richland County Park District Pollinator Festival – Mansfield, Ohio. If you like pollinators and want to learn more about how to help them, this program is for you. Native’s in Harmony will also be there selling locally sourced native plants!
Sept 9, 2017: The Great Caterpillar Count – Kentucky. If you could not make it to Mothapalooza this year, then this event is for you! Not odonata, but you you are likely to find some cool ones while you are down in Daniel Boone Country in Kentucky. They typically find over 100 species of caterpillars munching away, so this is a great chance to learn something new about caterpillar identification.
Sept 29-30, 2017: Clark County Park District Bioblitz! Stop out for an all day Bioblitz in the Clark County Parks and find a few Odes along the way!
Feb 24, 2018: Ohio Natural History Conference – Date set for Feb 24, 2018. Columbus, Ohio. More details and registration information to follow. This is a great chance to learn about many natural history activities happening across the state!
June 22-24, 2018: Odo-Con-18! More details to follow, but it will be held in Hancock County, Ohio.
Know of other events we might be interested in or have questions/comments? Let me know at email@example.com.