Tuesday, June 27, 2006

ENV: New County Record!

Had the kids down at one of the ponds today catching frogs, Double-striped Bluets, and Mosquitofish, and a billion other creepy crawly things. I was intent today on taking pictures and so didn't bring along a net. I've done that -- manage eight kids, carry a net and a camera and a first aid kit kind of thing already. So, i'm standing on shore trying to find some good things to take pictures of -- some bright Checkered Setwings are buzzing around, a nice male Red Saddlebags zips by once in a while, plus there's the usual Eastern Pondhawks, Blue Dashers, Black Saddlebags, Banded Pennants, leaftails, Citrine Forktails, etc. Then i catch sight of something large zipping across the pond in pursuit of a setwing. I have yet to see Common Green Darner here at the Ranch so i zero in on this thing, and then it banks up. Having been highly tuned in by Greg Lasley (and having been with him a couple of times to search in vain for his Austin colony of these things) i immediately knew it was a Comet Darner, Ana longipes. It was, however, larger and brighter than i had imagined. This thing was not only new for the Ranch, but new for me, and new for Kerr County. I started snapping photos at this flying buzzbomber hoping one photo would show enough to cinch the documentation. I'm hoping that the long distance, cropped up fuzzy things i got are enough. If nothing else they're enough to show that this critter was not one of the things previously documented in the county. This makes species #77 (after Martin Reid's recent finding and documentation of Bronzed River Cruiser at #75, and my confirmation and photographing of Thornbush Dasher at #76). The faunal list also has two species, Filigree Skimmer and Red Rock Skimmer, which have been seen but not documented for a potential total of 79 species for the county. Here's my lousy pics:

Comet Darner, Anax longipes
TX: Kerr County, Hill Country Youth Ranch, 1 Mile N of Ingram off TX27
27 June 2006

More on this:
Gallucci, T. 2006. The Odonata of Kerr County and the Guadalupe River System of Texas. Dragonflies and Damselflies (Odonata) of Texas (ed. J.C. Abbott) 1:18-22.

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