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Dragonflies emerging!

Posted on May 26, 2014

The Western New York dragonfly and damselfly populations really exploded this Memorial Day weekend during a lovely stretch of sun and 70 or 80 degree days. I found them to be emerging just about everywhere I went with suitable habitat. We certainly have plenty of water after the several inches of rain we received in the Chautauqua-Allegheny region in the last couple of weeks which will make it all the better for a productive season ahead.

I already mentioned the Dot-tailed Whitefaces emerging in multiple locations. A couple more species I wanted to highlight are the Beaverpond Baskettail (Tetragoneuria canis) and the Harlequin Darner (Gomphaeschna furcillata). I saw several Beaverpond Baskettails like this male on patrol.

Beaverpond Baskettail

I was able to snag one without taking a bath in the pond it was flying over.

Beaverpond Baskettail (Tetragoneuria canis)

One of my favorite dragonflies is the Harlequin Darner and I was thrilled to be able to find one quickly. I spotted a few of the tame species and netted one for record photos.

Harlequin Darner (Gomphaeschna furcillata)

Harlequin Darner hand

These guys and gals may even land directly on you if you hang out in their habitat enough. They’re quite comfortable sitting on your shirt or cap for a few minutes.

Harlequin Darner perched

I intend to survey for odonates all across our region this spring and summer with the focus being on our Natural History Atlas sites, both old and new. Please record all of your sightings in Odonata Central so that they can be stored and protected in a public centralized database to be used by scientists around the world for all time.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator