Save the date for Odo-Con-18! June 22-24, 2018

Are you interested in learning more about dragonflies and damselflies in Ohio? Does rubbing elbows with naturalists from across the state and beyond to discuss Ohio’s biodiversity sound like a good time? Then join us June 22-24, 2018 for Odo-Con-18 in Hancock and surrounding counties! It will be based at the Oak Woods Nature Preserve with trips to other areas, but space is limited to 125 registrants. This will be Ohio’s largest Odonata-centric event and we would love for you to join us! Registration is $40 for regular attendees and a discounted rate of $15 for students.

This is a conference for beginners and advanced alike, with field trips to areas with cool odes (and birds, and leps, and bees). We will be at the Oak Woods Nature Preserve for presentations and food, with field trips in the surrounding regions. You might even get a county record in some of these areas as most of Northwestern Ohio is understudied!

Events include:

  • Expert guided field trips
  • Identification/Ecology presentations
  • Evening Poster Session*
  • Business meeting for the Ohio Odonata Society on Sunday

Tentative schedule: check back for a better schedule.
Friday June 22nd:
5 PM: Arrival/social – meet the regional coordinators
6 PM: Kick-off and awards
7 PM: Opener
8 PM: Keynote speaker – Kurt Mead (Author of Dragonflies of the North Woods)

Saturday June 23rd:
9 AM -12: Dragonfly/Damselfly presentations or local field trips (limited guides)
12 PM: Lunch on your own
1 PM-6:30 PM: Guided field trips
7 PM: Catered Dinner
8 PM: Poster session*

Sunday June 24th:
9 AM: Business meeting for Ohio Odonata Society – all are welcome and OOS membership is included in Odo-Con registration
10 AM: Depart and self guided field trips based on nearby hotspot list

*Evening poster session pending submission of titles by interested parties.

Call for Posters!
A poster session will take place on Saturday evening. Topics can include, but are not limited to species richness surveys, aquatic ecology, habitat conservation, behavior, or reproduction. Undergraduate and high school students are encouraged to present.  If you would like to contribute, please send your title and abstract (350 words max) to Shane Myers at by May 15th, 2018. Please share far and wide to reach those who might be interested in a poster session. There are limited spaces available.

Poster Registration Deadline: May 15th
Conference Registration Deadline: June 5th

Field Trip information: You can select to go to a field trip on Saturday, the 23rd. You are not required to go out in the field (or attend presentations), but we recommend both to get the optimal experience. We will provide a list of on-your-own field trip locations for Sunday after the conference dismisses. This list below is for the Saturday guided field trips included in your registration. Note that most of this region is relatively understudied, so we do not have comprehensive species lists for the really cool dragonflies and damselflies that we might find at each site.

  • Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area: This 9,000 acre wildlife area has a large swath of grassland, woodland, and wetland areas for us to explore. It is a bit of a drive, but has a good variety of habitats. There is a good chance at finding several interesting species of dragonflies and damselflies here. The prairies include a host of flowering species in the summer including prairie dock, greyheaded coneflower, saw-toothed sunflower, and dense blazing star. There are also a variety of ducks found in the region for interested birders.
  • Litzenberg Memorial Woods, Hancock Parks District: This 200 acre park includes some terrain changes with some wooded ravines. The south side of the park is largely grassland with wet woods and hugging the Blanchard River. Potential Ode species include Slender and Stream bluets, Emerald, Sweetflag, and Slender spreadwings, Powdered and Blue-tipped Dancers, Midland Clubtails, Jewelwings, among others.
  • Springville Marsh State Nature Preserve: Within a 20 minute drive from the conference location, this state nature preserve is a host of plants that are extremely uncommon in Ohio. Many of these species are more often associated with the Atlantic Coastal plain, so we can expect some unique Odonata as well. There is a boardwalk trail system which connects to an observation tower and wildlife blind. This trip will be limited in size, so guides can still point out Odes from the boardwalk and everyone is able to see without being too crowded. Blue Faced Meadhowhawks were reported here in 2017.
  • Bright Conservation Area, Hancock Parks District: This park includes a large, wet grassland along the Blanchard River. Yellow and King Rails have been reported from this site and nearby. This is also close to the first report of a River Bluet (Enallagma anna) in Ohio. Perhaps you be the second person to see one in the State?
  • Hancock Sanitary Landfill: Yes, we said landfill. Now, before you freak out at the concept of paying for a conference to visit a landfill, let us explain. Shane Myers has spend a lot of time at this site, which has open access areas on the northern side of the site. These areas include a large grassland with several ponds, a large woodland area with vernal pools, and a creek. On the map, most of the upper half between CR 140, 109, and 142 is accessible. Large numbers of grasshopper sparrows nest here annually as well as the occasional Henslow’s sparrow. As for Odes, there are a variety of skimmers, Unicorn clubtails, Vesper and Skimming Bluets, Swamp, Slender, Emerald, and Elegant Spreadwings, and Whitefaces, among others.
  • Van Buren State Park: Camping on-site if desired. The eastern part, known as the Horse Camp, has trails leading to nearly year round wet woods. This site is on top of the Defiance Moraine, containing remnant populations of more upland plants than much of the surrounding areas. This is the site with the most elevation change, which isn’t much. Potential odes include the Cyrano Darner, and several bluets and dancers.
  • Oakwoods Nature Preserve, Hancock Parks District: For those who want to spend the minimal amount of time driving, we will have a group trip remaining at the Oakwoods Nature Preserve. This will be catered to beginners and focus on introductory ID skills for dragonflies and damselflies. There are 4.5 miles of trails at our conference center, following several lakes and streams.

New for 2018: Odonata All Stars!
Ohio Dragonfly Survey participants who have contributed to the survey will be acknowledged as Odonata All Stars. If you submitted observations prior to December 15th, 2017, then you are eligible for an award. Odonata-All-Stars will be noted on their name badges.

See the Odo-Con-18 tab for registration details.