Four-spotted Skimmer (Family Libellulidae)

The range of the Four-spotted Skimmer is circumpolar, and turns up in Asia and from European countries where it’s called the Four-spotted chaser. Its American range is listed as the northern half of North America. These are dragonflies of marshy lakes, fens, acid bogs, plant-filled ponds, and very slow streams. Adults are found over fields and along woody edges and they may form swarms over open water; juveniles are often seen far from water. They like to perch on emergent vegetation but are also found near or on the ground.

Three Spring Dragonflies Plus One

The 2016 dragonfly season is starting slowly—some migratory darners appeared a few weeks ago but then disappeared when colder weather came back. In the past week, the BugLady has seen a Common whitetail, a Chalk-fronted corporal, and some Whitefaces, plus a handful of damselflies. If you check the archives at the UWM Field Station link below, you’ll find that dragonflies have not been neglected.

Blue Dasher Dragonflies (Family Libellulidae)

The range of the Blue Dasher stretches across North America from British Columbia to Ontario, south (except for the Rockies and Dakotas) to California and Florida, with scenic side-trips into Mexico, the Bahamas, and Belize. According to the Wisconsin Odonata Survey, Blue dashers may have been extending their range north in the state in recent years.

Shadow Darners (Family Aeschnidae)

Shadow Darners (Aeshna umbrosa) live throughout most of North America (except the very southern edges of the U.S. and a few Rocky Mountain states), and their range stretches well north into the boreal forests of Canada. They’re found in a variety of wetlands, from the still waters of bogs, pools, and ditches, to slow streams.

Twelve Bugs of Christmas

The fourth Annual chorus of “The Twelve Bugs of Christmas,” the BugLady offers a Bakers’ Dozen of Bug Portraits that were taken this year but are unlikely to appear in future BOTWs because their stories have been told in past BOTWs (hence, the links, for BugFans who want to know “The Rest of the Story”).

Black Saddlebags Dragonfly (Family Libellulidae)

The Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata) is found throughout the U.S., into Canada, and south of the border well into Mexico. Black Saddlebags also have a presence on the Hawai’ian and the Caribbean Islands. They choose fish-free still/stagnant/very slow-moving water with lots of vegetation for their nurseries and will oviposit in roadside ditches.

Midsummer Report

The BugLady would like to dedicate this episode to the late (great) Cornell Professor Richard B. Fischer (January 19, 1919 – August 7, 2005) who taught the BugLady how to sneak up on insects (no bobbing or weaving, just slow and steady and straight ahead.

Springtime Darner (Family Aeshnidae)

Springtime Darners (Basiaeschna janata) are not mosaic darners (genus Aeshna); they are a monotypic genus—the only member of their genus in the world. At about 2 ¼” to 2 ½” (females are larger than males) they are a bit smaller than the mosaics. Springtime darners are commonly seen cruising around in woodland clearings, and along sunny edges of lakes, bogs, and slow streams in eastern North America.

Big Emerald, Little Emerald (Family Corduliidae)

Most Emerald Dragonflies are dark with long, slender abdomens, metallic iridescence, a somewhat hairy thorax, and big, green eyes that meet at the top of the head. They are strong fliers that patrol tirelessly at the edge of woods and wetlands; and they often form feeding swarms as high as 30 feet off the ground.

Green-striped Darner (Family Aeshnidae)

There are 20 or so Aeshna darners in North America. The Green-striped Darner (Aeshna verticalis) is a Northeastern darner, found from Minnesota/northern Iowa/southern Canada to Nova Scotia to New Jersey; it is rarely found south of Ohio. Its life story is similar to that of other mosaics.