Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Great Boghaunter Hunt

Sunday afternoon I spent a few hours at Rose Lake State Wildlife Research Area looking for dragonflies.  This spring I have been excited by the vast numbers of dragonflies I have been seeing and the diversity.  By Sunday I had already added three new species to my list and I got to add another exciting find to the tally later that day.  I had gotten down on the ground to take a photo of some interesting moss when out of the corner of my eye I noticed a small dragonfly land nearby me.  I slowly got up and moved closer.  The dragonfly looked sort of familiar, like a very common juvenile female Dot-tailed or Frosted Whiteface dragonfly, but something was just not right.  I took several photos before it flitted away.  The sun had started to drop to an angle not conducive for photographing in the woods, so I headed home.

When I got home and started to ponder my find, I recognized it was not the dragonfly species I first had thought.  I pawed through my books until I found the Ringed Boghaunter (Williamsonia lintneri).  It was a perfect match.  As I read more about this species, I realized that this was a pretty rare find in Michigan - only about a dozen sightings and only a few in the Lower Peninsula.

I had the chance yesterday to get back out to Rose Lake and I made sure to head back to where I had seen this first Boghaunter.  Within twenty minutes I had chalked up several more, both male and female.  I now have to fill out some paperwork for the DNR like I did last year when I found the Riverine Clubtails, as this is another species that appears on the Michigan Natural Features Inventory as a "special species".  I seemed to have developed a knack for discovering these rare dragonflies, as this is the third one in as many years that I have located.

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