Sunday 7 July 2019

Dragonfly and Damselfly Surveys 2019

I had the pleasure of completing some fieldwork again this year looking for the Endangered Rapids Clubtail dragonfly on rivers throughout southwestern Ontario.  Our work focused on the Maitland, Bayfield, Thames, Nith and Grand Rivers.  This species has been recorded from the last three, but not the Maitland or Bayfield.  I had a lot of fun boating down and wading through stretches of these rivers in June and early July looking for dragonflies.  Naturally, we found other wildlife as well while on the rivers!

I particularly enjoyed using my new kayak to complete some of these surveys!  The dragonflies and damselflies were drawn to it like a magnet for perching!  I even had two different Rapids Clubtail perch on the bow of the boat, including the female below. After landing on my kayak, she flew off into the riffle and dipped her abdomen into the water column to deposit eggs!

Rapids Clubtail female - note the mass of eggs at the tip of abdomen.

Rapids Clubtail male
The surveys were successful, in that I did end up finding 3 new sites for this species (on a river where the species is known from).

River Jewelwing mating

Midland Clubtail
Rusty Snaketail

Common Baskettail

American Rubyspot
 Of course we also saw lots of reptiles including lots of turtles.
Snapping Turtle

Young Snapping Turtle
 The highlight of the reptiles was definitely finding this Queensnake!  The first I have ever seen in the wild!  We took some photos and promptly let it go hunt more crayfish!

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