With all of the rain this year, we are doing surprisingly well and yet still have time for office work.
Jim Lemon has taken the time to sort through the data yet again! Below is an excerpt from Jim’s extractions.
“Here’s a map from the iNaturalist Ohio Dragonfly Survey Project showing the 2019 Research Grade observations per county. This is as of 6AM 6/13 (and now out of date).
The darker the color, the more observations. The specific ranges are keyed on the map.
There a still 5 counties with no observations yet, and 12 with fewer than 10 observations.
Franklin Co is the runaway leader with 439, almost double the next two – Gallia, Jackson (which benefited from the Dragonfly Conference attention).
Here are the numbers:
Van Wer 0
So, that means that as of June 13th (admittedly a week ago as of this writing), we have several counties that need attention. Some people have already taken the initiative to visit those areas to get records for this year, but most of them still need dragon records if the weather will cooperate.
Note that the map is about a week out of date at this point, but it will still give you some pointers. Also note that if you are in an area with lots of observations, we still want your observations! Plus, different species fly at different times of the year, so we expect to start seeing our mid-summer species now and in August our fall species.
Make sure to submit your records to iNaturalist by December 1st, 2019 if you aren’t submitting them as you go along through the summer. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to MaLisa or your regional coordinator. Let’s make this a great year!
Guest post by Jim Lemon
Breakout Species for 2019 (so far) – Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans)
We have seen big expansion (range and observation) of some species in recent years – notably Slaty Skimmer starting in 2017, and Carolina Saddlebags in 2018. These are species that have a historical record in Ohio, but for some periods only averaged 1 every five years, or so.
It appears we will be adding another dragon to this list for 2019 – Great Blue Skimmer (GBS). We already have 33 observations (32 research grade) in 2019. Our OOS historical data only has 92 records for prior years. 2019 observations will include at least 7 new county records (see the map – 2019 observations in orange), and from all across the state.
GBS observations would not be a surprise in any county at this point. Habitat is wooded stream and swamps. My observations all match that description.
Our succession of storm fronts from the south and west may be contributing factors to GBS widespread appearance.
UPDATE: As of June 13, we have even more county records for the species with observations in 23 counties and at least 9 new county records.
MaLisa has also spotted them in Muskingum County in a woodland “Vernal” pool that hasn’t dried up for at least a year thanks to our very wet weather. It was a pleasure to watch 6 males actively patrolling the site and not just perching. These males exhibited a unique flight and then hover behavior. Often flying 4 meters, then hovering, then flying another 4 meters, then hovering.
This was one of several Great Blue Skimmers at a new site. This male is gently held by the wings with the habitat type (small wetland opening in a forest) visible.