Journal archives for May 2016

May 18, 2016

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 on May 18, 2016 04:28 by briangooding briangooding | 8 observations | 2 comments | Leave a comment