Wanted: Dragonfly wings

To the Ohio Birding Community:
Have you watched a bird eat a dragonfly and then seen them drop the wings on the ground? These wings are valuable scientific material and can help document species (even without the rest of the body). The Ohio Dragonfly Survey is looking for dragonfly wings to add to our knowledge of our 170 species across Ohio.

These wings are from a Common Green Darner (Anax junius). The main veins and overall shape help differentiate it from other dragonflies.

If you do decide to collect dragonfly wings from bird prey piles, make sure of the following:
 1) you do not disturb the birds in the area (walk back later if they are hanging around),
2) you have permission to take physical material from your location,
3) you write down the collection information. Typical collection information includes date collected, location collected, your name, and other notes (such as eaten by x species). More information on collecting specimens can be found on our physical collections protocol page.

Physical specimens or wings can be mailed MaLisa Spring at the following address
ATTN: MaLisa Spring
Museum of Biological Diversity
1315 Kinnear Road
Columbus, Ohio 43212

Whole dragonflies and damselflies caught in spider webs or in grills of cars are also welcome to be submitted to the survey.

Many dragonflies end up as prey in spider webs. Most spiders cannot eat the entire dragonfly or the husk of the dragonfly is left over.

These are dragonflies that were found dead on a road in Minnesota. The group were foraging for prey and did not do well with the incoming traffic. These were collected by concerned Odonatatologists on a single night along a small stretch of road.

These dragons were unlucky enough to meet their end with the front of a car. Be sure to check your grill before each stop. You never know what you will find! Even locality data of “somewhere in Ohio” is better than no data.

Photos of live dragonflies and damselflies also very welcome and can be submitted to iNaturalist.org.
If you have additional questions, feel free to reach out to us.

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