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 by briangooding briangooding, June 21, 2016 04:31

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Red Swamp Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii)

Observer

briangooding

Date

June 11, 2016 10:22 AM CDT

Description

Temporarily borrowed from the mud to show the BioBlitz crew.

Taken during the William Blair Jr. Park BioBlitz (http://www.inaturalist.org/projects/william-blair-jr-park-dallas-park).

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Familiar Bluet (Enallagma civile)

Observer

briangooding

Date

June 11, 2016 10:06 AM CDT

Description

Male Enallagma civile

Taken during the William Blair Jr. Park BioBlitz (http://www.inaturalist.org/projects/william-blair-jr-park-dallas-park).

Photos / Sounds

What

Rambur's Forktail (Ischnura ramburii)

Observer

briangooding

Date

June 11, 2016 10:52 AM CDT

Description

Female Ischnura ramburii eating female I. posita

I heard this struggle before I saw it and was able to move in pretty close. Note the size differential between these congenerics. I have seen other damsels (including I. posita) eat each other but I. ramburii seems to be the damselfly--more than any other in this area--that is witnessed consuming fellow damsels.

It is so aggressive and voracious that it reminds me of Erythemis simplicicollis in the Anisopteran realm--a constant predator indifferently taking similarly-sized prey. It's inspirational in a morbid sort of way. ;)

Taken during the William Blair Jr. Park BioBlitz (http://www.inaturalist.org/projects/william-blair-jr-park-dallas-park).

Comments

Was great meeting you Brian. Looking forward to the hunt this Friday!

Posted by mchlfx over 5 years ago (Flag)

Excellent! Can't wait to hang out with you guys and check out LLELA!

Posted by briangooding over 5 years ago (Flag)

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