August 17, 2012

We've Got Flying Neon Toothpicks in Our Pond

I admit it! I totally stole the title of this week's blog from my Facebook friend John Acorn, aka The Nature Nut. To be specific, I gleaned this gem of a title from one of his books, Damselflies of Alberta: Flying Neon Toothpicks in the Grass.

Today, instead of taking lunch like a normal person, I went out to the pond with Kimball Garrett to survey for adult Odonates. Odo-what? I mean dragonflies and damselflies (the flying neon toothpicks), the jeweled predators of the sky.

Among other things, Kimball and I found damselflies for the first time. Yay! Here are some pictures of what we found:

The first ever damselfly to be found in the pond!
Pacific Forktail, Ischnura cervula

Flame Skimmer, Libellula saturata, in Kimball's hand

Kimball also thought he saw a Wandering Glider, Pantala flavascens. Thankfully, Sam Easterson had snapped this picture earlier in the morning, confirming the presence of this impressive dragonfly.

Sam's shot of a Wandering Glider

So the list of Odonates in the pond has grown to 5 species:
Green Darner, Anax junius
Flame Skimmer, Libellula saturata
Wandering Glider, Pantala flavascens
Variegated Meadowhawk, Sympetrum corruptum
Pacific Forktail, Ischnura cervula

In other Odonate news, Black Phoebes love them! Here's the proof, from one of Sam's camera traps:

Tasty dragonfly lunch for a hungry Black Phoebe

Posted by: Lila Higgins


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