Odonates of Montana - July 2016

I'm grouping all my Odonate observations from my Montana trip so that I can find them easier, and also so I hope folks might be able to help me ID things a bit faster. :-)

I was and still am pretty unfamiliar with Dragons and Damsels in the north, and before going on this trip I looked on iNat and was surprised to find that there were only about 25 observations from the entire state. Seems there is a hole in the USA for Odonates on iNat! Odonate Central lists many more records for the state, but many of them lack photos, so I was still not quite sure what I would see.

With this in mind, I set a silly goal of doubling the number of iNat Odonate observations while on this trip.

As luck would have it (or not, for Ode hunting), I spent much of my time at higher altitudes on a caving expedition, and the weather was pretty cold and rainy the entire time - not great for finding these guys. I also think that the higher altitude was too early in the season for them. I did see a couple damselfly larvae in a mid-elevation stream, but never saw any adults.

In any event, I'll keep working on IDs for my unknowns, but if @jimjohnson , @greglasley, @scottking, or anyone else who might be familiar with this area has the time to look at some of these, I sure would appreciate it.

Publicado por beschwar beschwar, 31 de julio de 2016

Observaciones

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Azulilla de Estanque de Los Juncos Enallagma carunculatum

Observ.

beschwar

Fecha

Julio 4, 2016 10:44 AM CDT

Descripción

Two females - I think this is the correct ID.

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

beschwar

Fecha

Julio 4, 2016 10:44 AM CDT

Descripción

My first snaketail!

Found in a back yard, perching on or near the ground in a sunny patch of straw mulch and dead poppy stalks

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

beschwar

Fecha

Julio 4, 2016 10:44 AM CDT

Descripción

First time seeing this species! I think the ID is correct, based on iNat observations and photos. Sadly, I was unable to get a really nice photo from the front side view.

Perching on the ground in a dry grazed field with dead grass and scattered wildflowers.

There may have been two individuals here, or I may have just found the same one twice.

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

beschwar

Fecha

Julio 5, 2016

Descripción

Unfortunately, I could not get a good lateral view of this one, but I think this ID is correct.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Caballito Pigmeo del Pacífico Ischnura cervula

Observ.

beschwar

Fecha

Julio 5, 2016

Descripción

These 11 photos seem to illustrate the color diversity in the males and females of this species, which really amazed me. Until I started trying to ID them, I assumed that all these were probably 2 or more species. This species was the most common damselfly seen in this area, with at least 200 seen during my wanderings.

I am assuming that my IDs are correct for all the photos, but I'd be happy to be proven wrong!

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Rayadora Abigarrada Sympetrum corruptum

Observ.

beschwar

Fecha

Julio 5, 2016

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Libélula Rayadora Blanca Común Plathemis lydia

Observ.

beschwar

Fecha

Julio 5, 2016

Descripción

Three individuals - two males and one female - were seen around the park.

Fotos / Sonidos

Square

Observ.

beschwar

Fecha

Julio 5, 2016

Descripción

My first time seeing this species!

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Libélulas Zurcidoras Típicas Género Aeshna

Observ.

beschwar

Fecha

Julio 5, 2016

Descripción

This was the only Darner I saw in the park, and it spent 5 minutes flying around in the street near a parked car. I was only able to snap these few crummy photos. I suspect that they are not good enough to ID this one, but I am not familiar with Darners in this area, so perhaps there are only one or two options.

My first guess is that it is a female Variable Darner.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Azulillas de Estanque Género Enallagma

Observ.

beschwar

Fecha

Julio 5, 2016

Descripción

I'm not familiar with odonates in this area, but this is my best guess on the ID for this one. This individual seems to have much more convoluted patterns on S5-6 than I see in most other photos, but perhaps this is not a diagnostic feature of the species. Or I could simply be wrong. :-)

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Azulilla de Estanque de Los Juncos Enallagma carunculatum

Observ.

beschwar

Fecha

Julio 16, 2016

Descripción

The most common damselfly seen here today. I believe that all the photos are of this species, of both sexes, and at different stages of maturity.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Caballitos Pigmeos Género Ischnura

Observ.

beschwar

Fecha

Julio 16, 2016

Descripción

I'm not certain that this is a forktail, but I don't know what it is. This was the only damselfly I saw here that looked like this.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Caballito Pigmeo del Pacífico Ischnura cervula

Observ.

beschwar

Fecha

Julio 16, 2016

Descripción

Several were seen.

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

beschwar

Fecha

Julio 16, 2016

Descripción

I think this is in the correct genus, but I have not seen this dragon before.

Quite a few teneral dragonflies that I believe were different species/sexes of Sympetrum were sheltering from strong winds in the tall grass in this area.

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

beschwar

Fecha

Julio 16, 2016

Descripción

I think this is in the correct genus, but I have not seen this dragon before.

Quite a few teneral dragonflies that I believe were different species/sexes of Sympetrum were sheltering from strong winds in the tall grass in this area.

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

beschwar

Fecha

Julio 16, 2016

Descripción

I think this is in the correct genus, but I have not seen this dragon before.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Caballitos Crucifijo Menores Género Lestes

Observ.

beschwar

Fecha

Julio 16, 2016

Descripción

A single female. This was the only Lestes I saw here.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Libélula Rayadora de Doce Manchas Libellula pulchella

Observ.

beschwar

Fecha

Julio 16, 2016

Descripción

Several adults were seen flying, and these two teneral individuals were found sheltered in tall grasses.

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

beschwar

Fecha

Julio 16, 2016

Descripción

A few individuals and one mating pair were seen.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Azulillas de Estanque Género Enallagma

Observ.

beschwar

Fecha

Julio 16, 2016

Descripción

Only a couple of these were seen.

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

beschwar

Fecha

Julio 16, 2016

Descripción

I think this ID is correct.

Quite a few teneral dragonflies that I believe were different species/sexes of Sympetrum were sheltering from strong winds in the tall grass in this area.

Fotos / Sonidos

Square

Observ.

beschwar

Fecha

Julio 16, 2016

Descripción

I think this is in the correct genus, but I have not seen this dragon before.

Quite a few teneral dragonflies that I believe were different species/sexes of Sympetrum were sheltering from strong winds in the tall grass in this area.

Fotos / Sonidos

Square

Qué

Caballitos Pigmeos Género Ischnura

Observ.

beschwar

Fecha

Julio 16, 2016

Descripción

A single individual of this species/sex was seen very briefly in tall grass. I was unable to get better angles or photos, but perhaps someone will be able to suggest an ID from this photo.

Fotos / Sonidos

Square

Qué

Libélulas Zurcidoras Familia Aeshnidae

Observ.

beschwar

Fecha

Julio 16, 2016

Descripción

A single horrible photo that I can't ID from, but I did manage to see a Darner in Montana!

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

beschwar

Fecha

Julio 16, 2016

Descripción

I think this is in the correct ID.

Quite a few teneral dragonflies that I believe were different species/sexes of Sympetrum were sheltering from strong winds in the tall grass in this area.

Comentarios

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I'll look at these eventually Ben, but I'm in Trinidad with iffy and slow Internet until the 9th of Aug. and lots of damsels in Montana will be really tough for me.

Publicado por greglasley hace alrededor de 4 años (Marca)
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Hi Ben, I'm just back from a family vacation to Wyoming. The return trip brought us through southeastern Montana, kept looking longingly at the Yellowstone River and the cattle ponds passing, but didn't have a chance to stop and look for dragonflies. Found just a few in Wyoming, where it was hot and dry and had been for a long time.

Publicado por scottking hace alrededor de 4 años (Marca)
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Hello Scott,

Sounds like it was a fun trip, even without stopping at every good habitat. I know! Every time I drove by wetlands or ponds in Montana or Nevada on our recent trip, I just wanted to get out and look for Odonates. :-) I did manage to find some, and a number of new species for me, so I was happy. There were surprisingly few Odonate observations in MT on iNaturalist _ I think I came close to doubling the number.

Thanks very much for your IDs and help with some of my new species. I appreciate it.

Publicado por beschwar hace alrededor de 4 años (Marca)
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Here's a link to Nate Kohler's Montana online guide. I think there were very few Odonata Central records until Nate came along. It's astonishing how much ground he has covered!

http://fieldguide.mt.gov/displayFamily.aspx?order=Odonata

Publicado por scottking hace alrededor de 4 años (Marca)
Thumb

good idea for grouping observations for a trip this way, hadn't thought of this.

Publicado por taogirl hace casi 4 años (Marca)

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