Monday, June 08, 2009

DSA Trip Looking for Clubtails

Folks,

I've been chasing dragonflies for 8-10 years now and damselflies for 5-6 I guess. Anyway finding new ones locally is already a pretty rare thing to happen now days. The Dragonfly Society of the Americas had their Eastern US spring trip two weeks ago and just 3 hours from here in Galax Virginia. So my friends and I headed out there to join them for a Saturday field trip.

Here is the first dragonfly I found it was a lifer for me and the camera.

Stygian Shadowdragon, Neurocordulia yamaskanensis
This species is pretty rare or very hard to find. It usually flies after dusk as during the day it resting under tree limbs in the shade. With a large crowd kicking around in the damp grass we were lucky to find it.

While everyone was checking out the Stygian Shadowdragon I started looking for more goodies and found this Splendid Clubtail, Gomphus lineatifrons a fairly common clubtail in Virginia along the New River several were found during the morning field trip. In North Carolina this clubtail is considered significantly rare. I found this species about 100 miles out of its range in both Durham and Orange Counties back in 2002 and this past weekend as well on the Eno River in Durham, County.

Male Splendid Clubtail perched on a log along the New River.

Female Splendid Clubtail found in North Carolina the next day inside the New River State Park.

Male Brook Snaketail, Ophiogomphus aspersus this was found in a Virginia Golf Course and it took several walks along and in this brook until we found one that would stay put. It was another lifer for me and the camera. A very rare bug in North Carolina.


Male Cobra Clubtail, Gomphus vastus found in North Carolina at the New River State Park. I'd only found this clubtail once and that was in Cincinnati, Ohio along the Ohio River.

Above and below are a teneral female Rusty Snaketail, Ophiogomphus rupinsulensis This snaketail, I'd only seen once a male near the New River in Radford Virginia. We found at least three of these all females in North Carolina at the New River State Park. When I found the one in Radford VA at the time there were no records of the species in North Carolina, it was discovered in NC back in 2006 likely near where we found it. Only known to one county in NC.

Now some damselflies from the Virginia Golf Course ponds. This one below is a male Orange Bluet, Enallagma signatum.

And below is a female Eastern Red Damsel, Amphiagrion saucium it is supposed to be fairly widespread in NC and even in the county I live in but I can't recall ever finding it in North Carolina.

13 comments:

Janet said...

Randy, you are truly providing an education with all the dragon and damsel flies. So the damsels have their wings to their tale? I guess I need to go back through some of your posts to figure out the difference. All gorgeous in their own right.

spookydragonfly said...

Your trip was a success...great captures, Randy! I see you are very good with I.D. The Eastern Red Damsel is considered uncommon to rare in my area of Ohio. I was fortunate to have seen and photograph one in my woods,(next post).

tina said...

Randy, I had a question. Your photos so exquisite, yes, wonderful shots, but the question is this. How do you know what all of these are? Are you an entomologist? Not according to your profile. Your info is so good I am thinking you must research a lot. If so, please give us some tips. I am happy when I can identify swallowtails. And now, thanks to you I know they come in three colors!:)

Shady Gardener said...

I'm learning quite a bit about a subject I love to watch but have known nothing about. Thank you! And thank you for your beautiful photographs! (I'm going to watch for the answer you give to the questions above!) :-)

Barbara E said...

Your pictures are beautiful! May I ask what camera and lens you use?

Cheryl said...

Randay....truly amazing post.....I am smitten with dragons and damsels....their beauty for me goes way beyond words....

I learnt a lot of interesting facts here today....a beautiful and infomative post....tku.....

Chandramouli S said...

I love your craze for these winged beauties, Randy & Meg. I thought dragonfly was just brown and boring as we have here (even that seems to have dwindled in population off late :( ), but I learnt a lot about them after I started visiting your blog. Thanks a bunch!

sweet bay said...

Beautiful photos Randy. I'm surprised we don't have more damselflies on our farm. I used to see them by the dozen at the Duke Golf Course.

Matt Latham said...

Sounds like a great trip with some great images of some stunning dragonflies.

Tatyana said...

Randy, I think it is time to publish a dragonfly book; I bet you have enough images for several of them! Well, maybe it's better to wait til we climb out of this economic pit...
Thanks for treating us with this images!

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

As always, great photos. I've been seeing a few dragonflies here finally. If I ever get a picture of one I hope you can help me id it. I already look at them in a different way since I've started seeing your pictures.

Meredith said...

We recently finished building a pond, but even before we were done, dragonflies were checking out our yard and our pond progress. Just today I got a booklet on recognizing local varieties of dragonflies and damselflies. Great photos!

Grace Peterson said...

Hi Randy~~ I'm with Tatyana. Time to publish a book. I bet Timber Press would be interested. You've got a bunch of blogger friends who could contribute blurbs.

I've got two different LARGE dragonflies flitting around my garden of late. One species has black stripes on his wings. The other was a red, rusty color. To tell you the truth they scare the crap out of me. I can't do large bugs. In the afternoon they're flitting around my head like I'm in their territory. I'm sure they're excellent bug eaters so I would never harm them but I just wonder what your thoughts are.

I concur with your other repliers. You are a enviable wealth of knowledge. You must really enjoy this.