Unicorns in unexpected places (Part 2)

I visited Mason Neck West Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA for the first time on 02 July 2016. There is a small, shallow man-made water retention pond at the park that provides perfect habitat for Unicorn Clubtail dragonflies (Arigomphus villosipes), like the one featured in this photo gallery.

This individual is a male, as indicated by his unique terminal appendages.

Mud flats (shown above) and algal mats (shown in the first and last photos) — sounds like a haven Unicorn Clubtails!

Notice the gas bubbles in the preceding photo. Algal mats release oxygen gas. I wonder whether Unicorn Clubtails enjoy the oxygenated air directly above algal mats, much like football players are refreshed by breathing from an oxygen mask on the sidelines after a long run.

Related Resource: Kevin Munroe, former manager at Huntley Meadows Park, provides good guidance regarding the right habitat for Unicorn Clubtails at his excellent Web site, Dragonflies of Northern Virginia.

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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