Posts Tagged ‘lentic’

Eastern Amberwing dragonfly (male)

September 26, 2018

An Eastern Amberwing dragonfly (Perithemis tenera) was observed perched on a snag in the central wetland area at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a male, as indicated by his coloration and terminal appendages.

The Backstory

Eastern Amberwing dragonflies are easy to find — they’re both common and abundant at almost any lentic ecosystem such as ponds and lakes. After spending a lot of time and energy during 2018 hunting some of the more exotic species of odonates such as spiketails, petaltails, and some of the rare-to-uncommon species of clubtails, I must confess the more common species of dragonflies and damselflies don’t hold my interest the way they did when I was a beginner. Sometimes I need to stop and remind myself to appreciate life’s simpler pleasures, like Eastern Amberwings.

Copyright © 2018 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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Citrine Forktail damselfly (male)

June 28, 2018

A Citrine Forktail damselfly (Ischnura hastata) was spotted during a stream-walk along South Fork Quantico Creek in Prince William Forest Park (PWFP), Prince William County, Virginia USA. This individual is a male, as indicated by his coloration and terminal appendages.

26 JUN 2018 | PWFP | Citrine Forktail (male)

Citrine Forktail is the smallest species of damselfly in North America. Maybe that explains why it took so long to add Citrine to my life list of odonates!

Every reference I have read says Citrine habitat is lentic, that is, it prefers ponds and lakes rather than the lotic habit where I found the individual shown above. I wish I had carried one of my camera kits for macro photography, but I didn’t expect to see Citrine along a mid-size stream.

Copyright © 2018 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Heaven on Earth?

October 19, 2017

Did I find Heaven on Earth? All signs point to yes!

17 OCT 2017 | Webb Nature Sanctuary | NOVA Parks

17 OCT 2017 | Webb Nature Sanctuary | NOVA Parks

Well, maybe. Time will tell. All I know now is I didn’t see any dragonflies anywhere along the trails at Webb Nature Sanctuary, Clifton, Virginia USA on 17 October 2017, my first visit to the park.

As odonate hunting season is winding down I’m transitioning into “exploration mode,” when I check out new places while the weather is still relatively mild.

Getting oriented

The following map is located at the trail head.

17 OCT 2017 | Webb Nature Sanctuary | NOVA Parks

Margaret’s Branch, located along Fern Valley Trail, is a small stream that might provide good habitat for lotic species of dragonflies such as clubtails and spiketails.

Popes Head Creek is known to provide good habitat for many species of odonates, including Fawn Darner dragonfly and Dusky Dancer damselfly, to name a couple of fall species.

17 OCT 2017 | Webb Nature Sanctuary | NOVA Parks

R. Randolph Buckley Park (also known as Eight-Acre Park) is located on the opposite side of Popes Head Creek from Webb Nature Sanctuary. Buckley Park can be accessed via a footbridge across Popes Head Creek.

Related Resource: Lentic and lotic, a blog post by Walter Sanford.

Copyright © 2017 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Lentic and lotic

October 3, 2017

Doesn’t this idyllic place look like ideal habitat for lotic species of odonates? It is!

Lotic refers to flowing water, from the Latin lotus, washed. … Lotic ecosystems can be contrasted with lentic ecosystems, which involve relatively still terrestrial waters such as lakes and ponds. Source Credit: River ecosystem, Wikipedia.

The preceding photo shows the stream crossing at Popes Head Creek, Hemlock Overlook Regional Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA (facing downstream toward Bull Run). Both streams provide ideal habitat for many species of dragonflies and damselflies that prefer flowing water rather than still water.

Tech Tip: I used my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 superzoom camera to shoot the landscape photo featured in this blog post. The camera was set for manual focus at the hyperfocal distance for an aperture of f/4, based upon the instructions provided in the excellent video tutorial by Graham Houghton, “Panasonic Lumix FZ camera easier manual focus method — super point-and-shoot tip.”

Copyright © 2017 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.


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