Southwest Nature Preserve pond survey - 05.15.16

A few weeks ago Sam (@sambiology) introduced me to Michael Smith (@drawntoscales) of Crosstimbers Connection at the Tandy Hills BioBlitz. After chatting with him for a while Michael invited me to come out to a future pond survey at the Southwest Nature Preserve.

I"d never been to the Southwest Nature Preserve but from looking at it on a map I was excited. When I got there I met Michael and Nic (@nativefishnic, from the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge) who were unloading some equipment for the survey. We headed a very short distance from the parking lot down to the pond and I was pleasantly surprised at what a nice habitat it was.

The pond was kind of swampy with a lightly-wooded area nearby as well as a meadowish area and two other ponds in the vicinity. There was plenty of undisturbed, overgrown vegetation and a large piece of a dead tree partially submerged running along the edge of the pond. Lots of good spots for dragonfly nymphs and lots of good platforms to emerge on.

The first thing I noticed after looking around the area was that Erythemis simplicicollis was everywhere. This continued throughout the observation--the number of visible E. simplicicollis dwarfed every other species, at least by a multiplier of two. There wasn't as much going on over the pond as I thought there would be but it was cloudy and already 15:30 or so. Also a lot of Pachdydiplax longipennis haphazardly bouncing their shiny wings on their first flights. I got a few nice shots I will post later.

While I was walking around the other guys were chest-deep in the mucky pond trying to round up some fish and other creatures. I tried to do my part getting dirty by lifting vegetation near the pond's edge to look for damselfly nymphs clinging to the stems but I came up short. Thankfully Michael found three dragonfly nymphs, at least one of which was P. longipennis. Hopefully with some assistance here we can identify the others.

Here's a list of the adult species seen (alphabetical order, not by density):

Anisoptera
1. Anax junius
2. Epitheca princeps
3. Erythemis simplicicollis
4. Libellula luctuosa
5. Pachydiplax longipennis
6. Perithemis tenera
7. Plathemis lydia
8. Tramea lacerata
9. T. onusta

Zygoptera
1. Argia sedula
2. Enallagma civile
3. E. signatum
4. Ischnura posita
5. I. ramburii

I have an inkling of what species we will see in future surveys that I may have missed this time as well as a number of species I expect to see there as the year progresses. I will post some photos soon.

Thanks to the guys I mentioned earlier and also Brent (@brentano) for coming to hang out and look for some dragonflies even though he was under the weather. Hopefully I will be back soon.

-Brian


links:
Crosstimbers Connection - http://crosstimbersconnection.org/
Tandy Hills BioBlitz - http://www.inaturalist.org/projects/tandy-hills-natural-area-stratford-park
Southwest Nature Preserve - http://naturallyfun.org/southwest-nature-preserve
Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge - http://www.fwnaturecenter.org/

Posted by briangooding briangooding, May 18, 2016 04:28

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Blue Dasher Pachydiplax longipennis

Observer

briangooding

Date

May 15, 2016 03:36 PM CDT

Description

Pachydiplax longipennis naiad

Made a new friend at the Southwest Nature Preserve.

Identification based on head shape, lateral spines and ventral abdominal dots (Wright and Peterson 1944 - https://kb.osu.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/1811/3411/v44n04_151.pdf?sequence=1). Compared against what is in the pond and an exuvia I witnessed female P. longipennis fly away from.

I will post more views from my other camera as I process them.

They also mention a "dark colored ridge running mesad from meso-caudal portion of eye". I'm trying to understand if that is what I see anterior to the wing pads but not sure. Please comment if you can clarify.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Fragile Forktail Ischnura posita

Observer

briangooding

Date

May 15, 2016 05:08 PM CDT

Description

Ischnura posita

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Six-spotted Fishing Spider Dolomedes triton

Observer

briangooding

Date

May 15, 2016 05:08 PM CDT

Description

Spider eating cricket frog

@brentano found this little gem when were checking some emergent vegetation for dragonflies.

Brent has some shots here: (http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/3184112)

Tags

Photos / Sounds

Square

Observer

briangooding

Date

May 15, 2016 05:08 PM CDT

Description

Wasp

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Familiar Bluet Enallagma civile

Observer

briangooding

Date

May 15, 2016 05:13 PM CDT

Description

Female Enallagma civile

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Blue Dasher Pachydiplax longipennis

Observer

briangooding

Date

May 15, 2016 03:05 PM CDT

Description

Teneral female Pachydiplax longipennis

I watched her fly from the pond's edge and then followed her on subsequent short hops.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Orange Bluet Enallagma signatum

Observer

briangooding

Date

May 15, 2016 05:01 PM CDT

Description

Male Enallagma signatum

At most ponds in the area where I live this is one of the most prolific species but at this pond at the Southwest Nature Preserve its presence was minimal.

Ischnura posita was by far the most abundant damselfly species I saw here, which is usually the case at other ponds I frequent as well.

I will go back again soon around midday and see what's going on then.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Fragile Forktail Ischnura posita

Observer

briangooding

Date

May 15, 2016 05:06 PM CDT

Description

Juvenile female Ischnura posita

Comments

Thumb

Love this! So glad you're getting more involved, Brian.

Don't forget to take a photo of a plant or two as well! ;)

Posted by sambiology about 5 years ago (Flag)
Thumb

It was great to have you there! Look forward to seeing you again, and seeing some of your photos!

Posted by drawntoscales about 5 years ago (Flag)

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