2019 Ohio Dragonfly Conference!

It is official! We have set a date for the 2019 Ohio Odonata Society Statewide Conference! See below for details. Registration forthcoming once more gets clarified.

What: The Ohio Dragonfly Conference
When: May 31st – June 2nd! Mark your calendars now so you don’t double book that weekend!
Where: University of Rio Grande in Rio Grande, Ohio (very southern Ohio – aka cool bug territory)
Why: Why not? Join us for our annual meeting to hang out with other engaged naturalists. You can attend presentations on dragonfly and damselfly identification, ecology, using iNaturalist, and so much more! Oh, and there is a field trip portion on Saturday afternoon so you can apply your new skills and see some cool southern Ohio flora and fauna. This is a conference for beginners and advanced alike, with field trips to areas with cool odes (and birds, and leps, and bees). Plus, we are likely to encounter two state endangered species of dragonflies, the Blue Corporal (Ladona deplanta), and Uhler’s Sundragon (Helocordulia uhleri).

Activities include:

  • Expert guided field trips
  • Identification/Ecology presentations
  • Potentially see rare and threatened species like the state listed Uhler’s Sundragon or Blue Corporal!
  • Business meeting for the Ohio Odonata Society on Sunday
  • A chance to rub elbows with like minded naturalists in a new area

Tentative schedule:

Friday May 31st: 
5 PM: Arrival/Check In
6 – 8 PM: Presentations
9 PM: Potential evening light sheet to look for non-Odonata, otherwise disperse to housing for the night

Saturday June 1st: Field Trip Day
Morning: Presentations
Lunch at the University or on your own
Afternoon: Field trips to respective locations
Dinner at the University or on your own
Evening: more presentations including Keynote

Sunday June 2nd: 
9 AM: Business meeting for the Ohio Odonata Society – all are welcome and OOS membership is included in Odo-Con registration
10 AM: Head out to more field sites (self guided or team up with groups from Saturday) or head home. A list of further out field sites will also be provided.

Presentation topics and speakers:

Keynote Speaker: Michael Moore

Michael Moore is a research biologist who investigates how animal life cycles and mating interactions adapt to different environments. Michael has studied a diverse suite of animals in regions all across the United States—including dragonflies, amphibians, fish, and ladybugs. Michael received a B.S. from Gonzaga University, a M.S. from Murray State University, and a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University. Beginning later this summer, he will be starting as a post-doctoral research fellow at the Living Earth Collaborative—a new center for biodiversity research at Washington University, the St. Louis Zoo, and the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

He will talk about his recent research on Blue Dashers and temperature on development.


Confirmed 20 minute talks: 

  1. Introduction to Dragonfly and Damselfly Identification – Kyle Bailey
  2. Ohio Research on Tiger Spiketails or Hines Emeralds – Bob Glotzhober
  3. Larval Dragonfly Identification – Bob Restifo
  4. Don’t Bite Me: Avoiding Health Threats in the Wild – Bob Restifo
  5. Fun with Maps: Dragon Distributions – MaLisa Spring
  6. The Wayne National Forest or other local natural history – Lynda Andrews
  7. Smoky versus American Rubyspots: defining microhabitats – Dave McShaffrey
  8. Meadowhawks and Collection methods – MaLisa Spring
  9. Spreadwing Identification – Jim Lemon
  10. Rio EcoMonitoring Project – Don Altoff (covers Flying Squirrels, Bats, Kestrels, Bluebirds, Tree swallows, and more!)
  11. The Photographic Big Year: Getting the Shot When it Really Counts – Nina Harfmann
  12. Gardening for Dragons – Elisabeth Rothschild
  13. Adventures with Laura’s Clubtail – Linda Gilbert

Saturday Afternoon Field trips:

You can select to go to a field trip on Saturday. You are not required to go out in the field (or attend presentations), but we recommend both to get the optimal experience. 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, but instead a list for the region in general.

  • Elizabeth L. Evans Waterfowl and Bird Sanctuary
  • Tycoon Lake Wildlife Area
  • Cooper-Hollow Wildlife Area
  • Crown City Wildlife Area
  • Timber Ridge Lake
  • Jackson Lake State Park
  • Plus other potential sites a bit further away

Field guides: Below are a list of verified trip guides, with more being added once we get their bios.

  • MaLisa Spring – State Coordinator for the Ohio Dragonfly Survey and Vice President of the Ohio Odonata Society. MaLisa has a Masters of Science in Entomology from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Marietta College. Past experience includes bee richness and floral use, ladybeetle diversity, and mangrove restoration in abandoned shrimp farms.
  • Jim Lemon – SW Ohio Regional Coordinator with a Master’s of Science in Entomology from The Ohio State University and Past President of the Ohio Odonata Society. Although retired from OSU, he stays busy as a Volunteer Naturalist in West Central Ohio; Co-Chair, Urbana Tree Commission.
  • Shane Myers – NW Ohio Regional Coordinator for the Ohio Dragonfly Survey and President of the Ohio Odonata Society. Shane has a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology from University of Findlay and active member of Hancock County Naturalists.
  • Linda Gilbert – NE Ohio Regional Coordinator and staff of Geauga Park District as a naturalist and field technician. She is a co-author with Larry Rosche and Judy Semroc of Dragonflies and Damselflies of Northeast Ohio 2nd. ed. Linda is also a professional musician and holds degrees in music from Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory and Cleveland State University.
  • Lynda Andrews – SE Ohio Regional Coordinator and Wildlife Biologist for the Wayne National Forest
  • Bob Glotzhober – Central Ohio Regional Coordinator and retiree from the Ohio Historical Society after 33 years. Bob led the 1991-1999 state-wide survey of dragonflies and damselflies, and Co-edited of The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Ohio. He was also a high school Biology teacher, naturalist for the National Wildlife Federation and Michigan Audubon Society, and served on the Federal Recovery Team for the Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly. In 2008 Bob was awarded the Wildlife Diversity Conservation Award by the Ohio Division of Wildlife for his work with dragonflies and damselflies in Ohio.
  • Dave McShaffrey – Biology professor at Marietta College, co-director of the Institute of Arthropod Research, and manager of the Barbara A. Beiser Field station. He has BS and MS degrees in Aquatic Biology from the University of Akron and a PhD in Entomology from Purdue. His research includes water pollution biology, biogeography of Chironomids and Odonata, functional morphology of aquatic invertebrates, and forensic entomology. He co-edited The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Ohio and co-authored the Ohio Division of Wildlife booklet on Odonata. His photographs have appeared in numerous field guides and textbooks.
  • Kyle Bailey – Current naturalist at the Gorman Nature Center in Mansfield and Member at Large for the Ohio Odonata Society
  • Bob Restifo – Retired from the Ohio Department of Health as an entomologist and treasurer for the Ohio Odonata Society
  • Larry Rosche – Larry is an active NE Ohio odonata enthusiast. He co-authored Dragonflies & Damselslfies of Northeast Ohio along with Linda Gilbert and Judy Semroc.  A fountain of knowledge, he can identify species based on flight pattern and other behavioral characteristics. He has worked for the Department of Natural Areas and Preserves in Ohio and then went on to work for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
  • Judy Semroc – Conservation Specialist in the Natural Areas Division for The Cleveland Museum of Natural History. She is the founder of Operation Botanic Rescue (a volunteer plant rescue group) and Chrysalis in Time‚ the first Ohio chapter of the North American Butterfly Association (NABA). Judy was the recipient of the “2013 Outstanding Staff Achievement Award” for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and the Portage County “Environmental Hero Award.” Along with Larry Rosche & Linda Gilbert, Judy co-authored the popular field guide’ “Dragonflies & Damselflies of Northeast Ohio” in 2008. As a former Petroleum Geologist and science teacher, Judy loves to share her passion for the natural world through hikes, interpretive programs and photography.
  • Dan Hodges – Naturalist at Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Park District
  • More to be added. If you are willing or want to guide, please contact MaLisa Spring at spring.99@osu.edu

Potential dragonfly and damselfly species based on the location and time of year:

  • Pond Damselflies (Family Coeniagrionidae): Aurora Damselflies (Chromagrion conditum), Azure Bluet (Enallagma aspersum), Double-striped Bluet (Enallagma basidens), Eastern Red Damsel (Amphiagrion saucium), Fragile Forktail (Ischnura posita), Lilypad Forktail (Ischnura kellicotti) – assuming a site with Lilypads, Orange Bluet (Enallagma signatum), Sedge Sprite (Nehalennia irene), Skimming Bluet (Enallagma geminatum), Sphagnum Sprite (Nehalennia gracilis), Stream Bluet (Enallagma exsulans), Violet Dancer (Argia fumipennis)
  • Broadwing damselflies (Family Calopterygidae): American Rubyspots (Heterina americana), Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata)
  • Spreadwing damselflies (Family Lestidae): Elegant Spreadwing (Lestes inaequalis), Swamp Spreadwing (Lestes vigilax), Sweetflag Spreadwing (Lestes forcipatus)

Who doesn’t want to see the Aurora Damsel in it’s natural habitat? This beautiful blue damsel is an early season species, so we are likely to see a few.

  • Clubtails (Family Gomphidae): Ashy Clubtail (Phanogomphus lividus), Common Sanddragon (Progomphus obscurus), Eastern Least Clubtail (Stylogomphus albistylus), Lancet Clubtail (Phanogomphus exilis), Midland Clubtail (Gomphurus fraternus), Unicorn Clubtail (Ariogomphus villosipes)
  • Cruisers (Family Macromiidae): Stream Cruiser (Didymops transversa), Swift River Cruiser (Macromia illinoiensis)
  • Emeralds (Family Corduliidae): Common Baskettail (Epitheca cynosura), Prince Baskettail (Epitheca princeps), Uhler’s Sundragon (Helocordulia uhleri) – State Listed, but larval records show it should be down there!
  • Darners (Family Aeshnidae): Springtime Darner (Basiaeschna janata), Swamp Darner (Epiaeschna heros)
  • Petaltails (Family Petaluridae): Grey Petaltail (Tachopteryx thoreyi)
  • Skimmers (Family Libellulidae): Banded Pennants (Celithemis fasciata), Blue Corporal (Ladona deplanata) – State Listed, Carolina Saddlebags (Tramea carolina), Painted Skimmer (Libellula semifasciata), Spangled Skimmer (Libellula cyanea), Spot Winged Glider (Pantala hymenaea), Twelve Spotted Skimmer (Libellula pulchella), Wandering Glider (Pantala flavescens), Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa)
  • Spiketails (Family Cordulegastridae): Arrowhead Spiketails (Cordulegaster obliqua), Twin-Spotted Spiketail (Cordulegaster maculata)

We will also be in southern Ohio for the peak season of Twin-Spotted Spiketails, so don’t miss out!


There are a couple options for housing. You can find your own housing in the nearby towns about 15-30 minutes away or you can choose to stay in the dorms on campus.

On campus – cheap per room (37$ per night per person), but you must bring your own bedding, pillow, and shower supplies. Rooms can be single, double, or quad occupancy, depending on which dorm we are in. Bathrooms are communal by floor. There should be refrigerators available in the rooms.

Off campus – most around a 20 minute drive. The listings below are some of the nearby housing options.

Knights Inn Gallipolis – $60+
Super 8 Wyndham Gallipolis Pt Pleasant Area – $66+
Riverside Motel – I don’t see a website, but you want to call (740) 446-2702
Red Roof Inn Jackson, Oh – $94+
Days Inn by Wyndham Jackson – $77+
Quality Inn in Jackson – $87+

Cabins at Rocky Creek – Maybe have availability. Call to check. Prices for them range from $65-$95 a night based on the number of bathrooms and kitchen supplies. Wifi is available though.
Jackson Lake State Park – Electric hook ups and tent sites available.
Krodel Park Campground – Seems like mostly electric hook ups for campers, but it also has some waterfront view in West Virginia, so you could get some records there before coming to the conference.

AirBnb options: There are small cottages and apartments available within a reasonable drive. I (MaLisa) have had mixed experiences with AirBnb hosts, but it is an option.


All meals are on your own, but we will have the university dining location open their doors for lunch and dinner (but not breakfast) on June 1st. The meals cost $7.43 for Lunch and $10.19 for Dinner. MaLisa is working with them to make sure we have ample vegetarian/vegan/gluten free options on their food line. 

Alternate food options: In the event you don’t want to join us in the dining hall, there are other local options, but the nicer restaurants are mostly a 20 minute drive
Rio Grande:
 Bob Evans, Subway, McDonalds, and Giovannis Pizza
Gallipollis (20 minute drive): Tuscany Italian Resaturant, The Colony Club, Fuji Express, El Toril, Bob Evans, Buffalo Wild Wings, Golden Corral, Tudor’s Biscuit World (breakfast/lunch), and many fast food options
Jackson (20 minute drive): Arch & Eddies (Craft beer?), Tokyo Steakhouse, Toro Loco, Rowdy’s Smokehouse, LaRosa’s Pizza, Dakota’s Roadhouse, Bob Evans, plus many of your standard fast food options


Linnea Campbell Ceramic Art – get some cool pottery and other homemade items!
Red Wing ArtScapes – Meet Kathy Larson and her cool nature inspired jewelry (earrings and necklaces)!
Festive Fabric Arts – Meet Cindy France with her fabric art and hand sewn items with nature designs. She also has an instagram.

Know someone with cool nature/photography related items? If they want a table space, please contact MaLisa Spring at spring.99@osu.edu

Extra activities:

If the weather is good, we will try to have a moth sheet running at night for the nocturnal insect enthusiasts.

While we hope you enjoy your time learning about Odonata at the conference, we also have plans for a light sheet one of the nights (weather pending – no one wants bulbs exploding). Light sheets should attract moths, beetles, and other arthropods.

Other local attractions include:
Bob Evans Original Farm and Museum
Merry Family Winery
French Art Colony
Fort Randolph
The Colony Club for live music


Note that private collections are prohibited. If you would like to collect specimens as part of a research activity where specimens will be deposited in a museum, please reach out to MaLisa Spring so we can work on the paperwork together with the park systems. 

Registration cost:

$10 for student, $40 for regular attendance – meals and housing are separate.

Financial assistance for registration: Please reach out to MaLisa Spring (spring.99@osu.edu) if you would like financial assistance for registration to the conference. In your email, please include your name and why you would like the assistance. We can also attempt to work out carpooling and room-shares as needed.

We have a registration cap of 170 attendees. Please register and share with your friends! We would love to have new enthusiasts join us for presentations and field fun!

2019 Ohio Dragonfly Conference Registration Form

2019 Ohio Dragonfly Conference Registration Form