Saturday, July 02, 2005

ENV: Odisting the last couple of days

As i pointed out yesterday, i was able to get in the field the afternoon of the 1st for a little while, and did the same this afternoon. I was mostly trying to obtain series of damselflies in the genus Argia for Ryan Caesar, and having quite some time finding the specialties that i guaranteed him (but more on that later).

I will be adding the site lists and some notes to this as the next couple of days wear on, and so i'll continue to bump it to the top until it's finished (done early a.m. July 4).

For now though i thought i'd make some points about one of the cool odes i had today and show some pics of various individuals.

In all my official time as an Odista i don't believe i've ever seen more than two Comanche Skimmers, Libellula comanche, at a time. Today that changed.

While fruitlessly searching for Springwater Dancers, Argia plana, at my best county location (Cherry Springs Ranch Crossing on the North Fork of the Guadalupe River), i was at least treated to the slow-flying antics of about a dozen Comanche Skimmers (not to be confused with my front door specialty Comanche Dancer, Argia barretti).

I pretty quickly caught, photographed in hand, and released three individuals (see below). Then i photographed another that gave me a brief chance by posing on a bullrush stem. And then a chase went right by me, i swung and netted two more. I photographed them sitting inside the net and let them fly off on their own.


Very cool bug.


[Some of these photos were taken in low light and so i apologize for the icky colors thereon.]

This is the fourth individual i photographed today.


This is a face shot of individual number two.


Here's a good look at the whitish pterostigmas which are so
distinctive in flight. This was the first bug i caught.


Individuals five and six inside my net bag.


A good look (from a bad, distant photo) at how obvious
the pterostigmas are in flight.


And finally, individual number three for a good overall look.


And some other goodies from today (the 2nd):

Five-striped Leaftail, Phyllgomphoides albrighti


Black-shouldered Spinyleg, Dromogomphus spinosus
The posting to TexOdes:
Odistas,

I just spent something of a fascinating two afternoons in search of local Argias. It was most fascinating to me (despite a dearth of some of the targets) because for the last 39 years my summers – June and July and sometimes parts of August – have been locked up at work 24-7. So, because of a scheduling thing, i got to spend a couple of days looking at parts of Kerr County away from my backyard for the first time ever in summer.

I saw plants blooming i’d never seen, and some odes in numbers i’ve never seen (both quite high and quite low).

I actually worked to get away these two days because, per Ryan Caesar’s request here on TexOdes, i was trying to find him some needed specimens of Hill Country Argias. Unfortunately, all but one of the species he was seeking was in very low to non-existent numbers.

Here’s the surprises:

Argia barretti
– my own frontyard specialty has been nearly absent all late spring and early summer. I can’t explain this. Here are some things that may be factors. I have brought a lot of folks here to see and obtain them in the last year. I caught two local boys shredding the vegetation they’re in with four-wheelers – which when i talked to them about the specialness of the bugs here, they stopped and haven’t repeated it. There is a first-ever in my time here Yellow-crowned Night-Heron nest at this spot and the adults are foraging all day in the A. barretti plants. And finally, the lack of rain has the river running about an inch low – which doesn’t seem like much, except much of the “habitat” for A. barretti is less than ten inches in depth. Are any of those factors? Who knows. Perhaps it is more in line with the overall lateness we’ve experienced in a lot of Texas odes this spring. In any case, i have not fulfilled what i though was an easy request for these bugs.

Argia leonorae – again, nearly absent. My first known Kerr County location produced a total of four bugs. There were zero in two days of looking at location number two. I did find a new location for them in Bandera County at a spot where Greg Lasley, Jim Bangma, Sheryl Chacon and i visited in late April and found none (because i looked). Even there the numbers were low. I am also wondering if these guys don’t have a temporal distribution pattern. My mid-day looks produced none, the late afternoon looks produced what few critters i found – i keep times of day for my notes and will go back and see what my past records indicate.

Argia cuprea – at the location mentioned above i found only three of these, and at Utopia City Park in Uvalde County only two.

Argia nahuana – this critter i have had regularly at only one Kerr County location and there it has been fairly common. I have found occasional individuals elsewhere. These two days i found it in numbers at several spots, including one new location. I would say it was one of the more common Argias.

Argia plana – zero found at four Kerr County locations, including a new spot i found about one month ago.

Enallagma novaehispaniae and E. exsulans – both found at multiple sites in larger numbers than i’ve previously seen anywhere.

Enallagma civile – in only one location in moderate numbers – absent elsewhere.

Libellula comanche – i’ve never seen more than two at once, but Saturday had about a dozen at Cherry Springs Ranch Crossing, and photographed six of them. Very cool.

Phyllogomphoides albrighti – photographed three from one location.

Pictures of the Comanche Skimmers and some others are at:
http://milkriver.blogspot.com/2005/07/env-odisting-last-couple-of-days.html

Another note in passing: Last year i found a Red Rock Skimmer, Paltothemis lineatipes, at my place. This would have been a new county record. This year, on June 26, i found another at the same spot. I returned with a net and was unable to relocate it. Oh well.

Here’s the data from the last two days:

1 July 2005

TX: Kerr County, Schumacher Crossing on Guadalupe River on Texas 39, 100F
1 Familiar Bluet, Enallagma civile
10 Blue-ringed Dancer, Argia sedula
30 Kiowa Dancer, Argia immunda
3 Widow Skimmer, Libellula luctuosa
1 Swift Setwing, Dythemis velox

TX: Kerr County, South Fork Marsh on South Fork on Texas 39, 100F
10 Desert Firetail, Telebasis salva
8 Citrine Forktail, Ischnura hastata
2 Leonora’s Dancer, Argia leonorae
1 Violet Dancer, Argia fumipennis violacea
3 Eastern Pondhawk, Erythemis simplicicollis simplicicollis
1 Widow Skimmer, Libellula luctuosa
1 Comanche Skimmer, Libellula comanche

TX: Kerr County, Lynxhaven Crossing on South Fork on Texas 39, 100F
30 Arroyo Bluet, Enallagma praevarum
10 Violet Dancer, Argia fumipennis violacea
6 Aztec Dancer, Argia nahuana
10 Eastern Pondhawk, Erythemis simplicicollis simplicicollis
1 Dragonhunter, Hagenius brevistylus
1 Swift Setwing, Dythemis velox

TX: Kerr County, Rio Vista Crossing, Guadalupe River, 102F
6 Smoky Rubyspot, Hetaerina titia
10 American Rubyspot, Hetaerina americana
2 Desert Firetail, Telebasis salva
2 Double-striped Bluet, Enallagma basidens
40 Kiowa Dancer, Argia immunda
40 Blue-ringed Dancer, Argia sedula
20 Dusky Dancer, Argia translata
20 Powdered Dancer, Argia moesta
3 Comanche Dancer, Argia barretti
20 Aztec Dancer, Argia nahuana
1 Eastern Ringtail, Erpetogomphus designatus

TX: Bandera County, Sabinal River Crossing on FM187, 96F
1 Smoky Rubyspot, Hetaerina titia
10 American Rubyspot, Hetaerina americana
3 Coppery Dancer, Argia cuprea
3 Leonora’s Dancer, Argia leonorae
12 Kiowa Dancer, Argia immunda
2 Powdered Dancer, Argia moesta
6 Dusky Dancer, Argia translata
20 Violet Dancer, Argia fumipennis violacea

TX: Bandera County, Sabinal River at Thompson Road, 94F
1 Kiowa Dancer, Argia immunda
2 Violet Dancer, Argia fumipennis violacea
1 Eastern Ringtail, Erpetogomphus designatus
1 Swift Setwing, Dythemis velox

TX: Uvalde County, Utopia City Park off FM 1050, Sabinal River
10 American Rubyspot, Hetaerina americana
2 Smoky Rubyspot, Hetaerina titia
1 Fragile Forktail, Ischnura posita
1 Neotropical Bluet, Enallagma novaehispaniae
12 Orange Bluet, Enallagma signatum
6 Stream Bluet, Enallagma exsulans
2 Coppery Dancer, Argia cuprea
20 Kiowa Dancer, Argia immunda
40 Dusky Dancer, Argia translata
1 Powdered Dancer, Argia moesta
1 Eastern Ringtail, Erpetogomphus designatus
6 Swift Setwing, Dythemis velox

2 July 2005
TX: Kerr County, Cherry Springs Ranch Crossing on North Fork, 101F
10 American Rubyspot, Hetaerina americana
30 Desert Firetail, Telebasis salva
40 Aztec Dancer, Argia nahuana
1 Violet Dancer, Argia fumipennis violacea
20 Dusky Dancer, Argia translata
20 Kiowa Dancer, Argia immunda
10 Blue-ringed Dancer, Argia sedula
2 Eastern Ringtail, Erpetogomphus designatus
1 Gomphid sp.
8 Eastern Pondhawk, Erythemis simplicicollis simplicicollis
12 Comanche Skimmer, Libellula comanche
1 Roseate Skimmer, Orthemis ferruginea
3 Checkered Setwing, Dythemis fugax

TX: Kerr County, Camp Stewart Crossing on North Fork off FM1340, 100F
40 Smoky Rubyspot, Hetaerina titia
20 American Rubyspot, Hetaerina americana
20 Neotropical Bluet, Enallagma novaehispaniae
15 Stream Bluet, Enallagma exsulans
15 Blue-ringed Dancer, Argia sedula
6 Kiowa Dancer, Argia immunda
3 Five-striped Leaftail, Phyllogomphoides albrighti
1 Black-shouldered Spinyleg, Dromogomphus spinosus
8 Eastern Pondhawk, Erythemis simplicicollis simplicicollis
4 Swift Setwing, Dythemis velox
1 Checkered Setwing, Dythemis fugax

TX: Kerr County, Mayhugh Crossing on Honey Creek off FM 1340, 99F
20 Neotropical Bluet, Enallagma novaehispaniae
15 Stream Bluet, Enallagma exsulans
1 Violet Dancer, Argia fumipennis violacea
10 Kiowa Dancer, Argia immunda
10 Blue-ringed Dancer, Argia sedula
1 Eastern Ringtail, Erpetogomphus designatus

TX: Kerr County, Indian Creek Bridge, Guadalupe River on Indiana Creek Road, 100F
20 Neotropical Bluet, Enallagma novaehispaniae
20 Stream Bluet, Enallagma exsulans
6 Double-striped Bluet, Enallagma basidens
1 Violet Dancer, Argia fumipennis violacea
6 Dusky Dancer, Argia translata
10 Kiowa Dancer, Argia immunda
20 Blue-ringed Dancer, Argia sedula
1 Gomphid sp.
1 Eastern Ringtail, Erpetogomphus designatus
1 Widow Skimmer, Libellula luctuosa
2 Eastern Amberwing, Perithemis tenera
4 Eastern Pondhawk, Erythemis simplicicollis simplicicollis
1 Blue Dasher, Pachydiplax longipennis
1 Swift Setwing, Dythemis velox

TX: Kerr County, Rio Vista Crossing, Guadalupe River, 98F
30 Smoky Rubyspot, Hetaerina titia
40 American Rubyspot, Hetaerina americana
1 Citrine Forktail, Ischnura hastata
10 Neotropical Bluet, Enallagma novaehispaniae
2 Double-striped Bluet, Enallagma basidens
20 Familiar Bluet, Enallagma civile
10 Aztec Dancer, Argia nahuana
40 Kiowa Dancer, Argia immunda
10 Powdered Dancer, Argia moesta
30 Blue-ringed Dancer, Argia sedula
1 Comanche Dancer, Argia barretti
30 Dusky Dancer, Argia translata
1 Swift Setwing, Dythemis velox
1 Checkered Setwing, Dythemis fugax

TX: Kerr County, South Fork Marsh, South Fork on Texas 39, 92F
10 American Rubyspot, Hetaerina americana
20 Desert Firetail, Telebasis salva
60 Citrine Forktail, Ischnura hastata
5 Leonora’s Dancer, Argia leonorae
2 Violet Dancer, Argia fumipennis violacea
2 Aztec Dancer, Argia nahuana
4 Kiowa Dancer, Argia immunda
10 Blue-ringed Dancer, Argia sedula
1 Gomphid sp.
2 Blue Dasher, Pachydiplax longipennis

TX: Kerr County, Lynxhaven Crossing, South Fork on Texas 39, 90F
8 Arroyo Bluet, Enallagma praevarum
2 Orange Bluet, Enallagma signatum
2 Aztec Dancer, Argia nahuana
1 Violet Dancer, Argia fumipennis violacea
2 Kiowa Dancer, Argia immunda
2 Dusky Dancer, Argia translata
2 Widow Skimmer, Libellula luctuosa
1 Swift Setwing, Dythemis velox


Extra Notes:

The exotics . . .
Kerr County: 2 Fallow Deer, 2 Red Lechwe, 1 Dama Gazelle, 20 Blackbuck
Bandera County: 1 Wapiti, 1 Eld’s Deer

12 species of fish

No unexpected or special birds (except one odd song i haven’t IDed yet).

Odonates –
25 species on 1 July 2005 in three counties
30 species on 2 July 2005 all in Kerr County
33 species both days combined, 31 in Kerr County

Missing only Coppery Dancer and Fragile Forktail for Kerr County for the two days. The forktail is present in Kerr County; i just missed it on this trip. Coppery Dancer is unrecorded in Kerr County, though found south of the county line just a few miles (along with another Kerr unrecorded species – Argia hinei). On 2 July 2005 i walked about a mile and a half of the North Fork in what looked to me like perfect Coppery/Lavender Dancer territory to no avail.

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