Journal archives for June 2016

June 21, 2016

William Blair Jr. Park BioBlitz June 2016 - Odonata (adults)

It's a little late but here's my recap of the William Blair Jr. Park BioBlitz from earlier this month.

Sam (@sambiology) recently invited me to a bioblitz out in Dallas at William Blair Jr. Park. I don't go out that way often so I was excited to see a new spot and hopeful of seeing a few species that Dallas County residents but only occasionally seen in Tarrant County.

As I arrived I was ushered in to a makeshift dirt and gravel parking spot and essentially told to hurry up as I put my boots on because "the group was leaving". I was taken aback a bit and didn't quite understand what the guy meant so I just walked toward the tent. They had bug spray, anti-itch cream, hand sanitizer and cold water available and someone asked me my name, then handed me a nametag.

I was looking around for Sam or some other folks I could recognize for iNat and didn't see anybody but I heard a guy say the word dragonfly so I walked toward him. He ended up being Michael Fox (@mchlfx) so that worked out. We chatted for a minute before our "team leader" told us the particular location we would be surveying.

At this point it became clear that I had definitely misinterpreted the purpose of this event (or my purpose in it) and it was meant to be more of a community outreach than a (somewhat) strategic gathering of information. I accepted this and tried to convince some kids to become as fascinated with science as I wish I had become when I was younger. We found some cool stuff and for like 10 seconds I felt like I had a purpose on this earth (hopefully inspire/prevent someone else from getting a liberal arts degree).

Some interesting stuff we saw included a neat crawfish and a female Ischnura ramburii eating a female I. posita. There were lots of Perithemis tenera which was good since they look so shiny and "unique" for kids.

Here's some data:

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

Zygoptera
1. Argia apicalis
2. Enallagma civile
3. E. basidens
4. I. posita
5. I. ramburii

I did not see personally, but confirmed observations of the following species:
1. Dromogomphus spoliatus (A)
2. Libellula incesta (A)
3. L. vibrans (A)
4. Ischnura hastata (Z)

As a group we observed four families of Anisoptera (Aeshnidae, Corduliidae, Gomphidae and Libellulidae) containing 10 genera (not going to name them) for a total of 12 dragonfly species. As well we observed one family of Zygoptera (Coenagrionidae), containing three genera (Argia, Enallagma and Ischnura), totalling six damselfly species.

The most common species visible to us were by far Perithemis tenera for the dragonflies and Argia apicalis representing the damselflies. Erythemis simplicicollis, Plathemis lydia and Enallagma civile were also quite common. I would expect to see different species/numbers if I explored more ideal and versatile habitats the park offered. One of reasons for going was to get some shots of the Anax longipes (reported in this county but not in county I live in). I am sure they are in the area because my ex-girlfriend who worked at a school over there once sent me a text in all caps once that just said: CHRISTMAS DARNER. I'm sure for other reasons too...that was just supposed to be funny.

Something about this bioblitz left a bad taste in my mouth and it really didn't seem about science or outreach, more like a mandate given by a superior, fulfilled in name only. To their possible credit, it was the first one in what is supposed to be a quarterly cycle. In any case, it made me think more about the efficacy of bioblitzes and citizen science. Someone's probably wrote about this to death but I just started with this kind of thing so it is new to me. Actually maybe I'll write about it later.

Overall I'm glad I went but more for seeing friends and meeting new people (Ashton, Michael, Brent and Dory), some of whom are interested in going out and doing our own surveys without restriction at different places.

-Brian


links:
http://www.inaturalist.org/projects/william-blair-jr-park-dallas-park - project page
http://www.inaturalist.org/lists/395462-William-Blair-Jr--Park---Odonata - species list

William Blair Jr. Park BioBlitz - 06.11.16 10:00-12:00.

Posted on June 21, 2016 04:31 by briangooding briangooding | 3 observations | 2 comments | Leave a comment