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WildLife Guards Training – Netting Dragonflies

Posted on Jun 29, 2016

Training week for the Bridgeport WildLife Guards Crew Leaders continues! We will be adding some new lesson plans and activities for the WildLife Guards this year both in conservation survey work and educational outreach. While much of our work is focused on birds we felt that considering Pleasure Beach is an important migratory hub for butterflies and dragonflies that we should teach the WildLife Guards about some of the insects that they can expect to see moving through the gardens and fields of milkweed, goldenrod and so forth. I created a couple lists of ten expected butterfly and dragonfly species that they will be searching for, and since I had my net handy I took it out to see what I could capture with our Crew Leaders Emily and Kari at Stratford Point.

Emily dragonfly net-7044

Emily dragonfly net-7049

Emily dragonfly net-7051

Emily dragonfly net-7063

I have been netting dragonflies for several years, and I was able to preserve my insect catching honor by catching the always difficult Spot-winged Glider (Pantala hymenaea). Naturally I hadn’t brought my macro lens, but we were able to get a nice close up look at a species we do not often get to see stationary. These photos show Emily attempting to net some other dragonflies and learning just how difficult it is. Those huge dragonfly eyes work very well, and they have a lot of brainpower crammed in their head! They seem to always be justttttt out of reach, very intentionally so. We cannot wait to see what the Guards spot flying by them on the beach this summer.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator