Swarm Sunday: 6/28/15 – 7/4/15

Dragonfly Swarm Project logoI’m a bit behind on reports, but a lot of swarms have occurred recently!  Swarms were reported from the following locations over the last four weeks:

USA:

Greenwood, AR
Jacksonville, AR
Jonesboro, AR
Paragould, AR
Searcy, AR
Alhambra, CA
Arleta, CA
Camarillo, CA
Glendale, CA
North Hills, CA
Los Angeles, CA (2 swarms)
Orange, CA
Palomar Mountain, CA
Perris, CA
Poway, CA
Redondo Beach, CA
San Clemente, CA
San Diego, CA (2 swarms)
Santa Barbara, CA (3 swarms)
Simi Valley, CA
Topanga, CA
Ventura, CA (2 swarms)
Woodland Hills, CA
Brighton, CO
Colorado Springs, CO
Denver, CO
Jacksonville, FL
Melbourne Beach, FL
Parrish, FL
Athens, IL (2 swarms)
Belleville, IL (2 swarms)
Bourbonnais, IL
Chapin, IL
Chicago, IL ( 5 swarms)
Evanston, IL (4  swarms)
Fairbury, IL
Fox Lake, IL
Pekin, IL
Princeton, IL
Wadsworth, IL
Warrensburg, IL
Argos, IN
Beverly Shores, IN
Columbus, IN
Martinsville, IN
Roanoke, IN
Veedersburg, IN
Barksdale, LA
Leesville, LA
Springfield, LA
Chester, MA (2 swarms)
Wenham, MA
Grosse Pointe, MI (2 swarms)
Port Sanilac, MI
Comfrey, MN
Duluth, MN
Long Beach, MS
Picayune, MS
Poplar Bluff, MO
Winfield, MO
Louisville, NE
Las Vegas, NV
Bayville, NJ
Brigantine, NJ (3 swarms)
Long Valley, NJ
Ocean City, NJ
Wildwood Crest, NJ
Caswell Beach, NC
Holden Beach, NC (3 swarms)
Murphy, NC
North Topsail Beach, NC (2 swarms)
Oak Island, NC
Washington, NC
Wilson, NC
Fargo, ND
Minot, ND
Marblehead, OH
Oklahoma City, OK
Charleston, SC
Hilton Head Island, SC
Little River, SC
Mount Pleasant, SC
Collierville, TN
Germantown, TN
Piperton, TN
Soddy-Daisy, TN (2 swarms)
Euless, TX
Frost, TX
Laredo, TX
Robstown TX
San Antonio, TX (2 swarms)
Bountiful, UT
Logan, UT
Salt Lake City, UT
Sandy, UT
Richland, WA
Greenfield, WI
Milwaukee, WI
Sheboygan, WI

Canada:

Calgary, AB
Falcon Lake, MB
Kingston, ON
Balgonie, SK

Here are the US maps for last four weeks:

7.5.15 to 7.11.15

7.5.15 to 7.11.15

7.12.15 to 7.18.15

7.12.15 to 7.18.15

7.19.15 to 7.25.15

7.19.15 to 7.25.15

7.26.15 to 8.1.15

7.26.15 to 8.1.15

Click the maps to enlarge!

July started off a little slow, with a few swarms reported in the central part of the country along with a cluster in North Carolina.  For whatever reason, there were several swarms reported in drought-ridden  southern California, an area that normally sees very little swarming activity.  Perhaps these are dragonflies about to move to a better area?  The week of July 12th saw a little more activity in the Midwest, with swarms occurring along the Great Lakes, the Illinois River, and the Mississippi River with a smattering of other swarms across the country.  The week of July 19th saw increased activity along the Illinois and Mississippi, but still little along the western coast of Lake Michigan.  A flurry of activity in that area suggests that the migration season is about to begin, and that flurry started last week, the week of July 26.  That coupled with the sightings along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers and in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana suggest that the 2015 Midwest migration may have already begun!  It’s a few weeks earlier than normal, so it will be interesting to see if the dragonflies continue southward over the next few weeks or stay in place for a little while before they start moving at their regular time in mid-August.  The coastal migrations have apparently not yet begun, though I suspect they may start in the next few weeks.

Peak swarm season has begun!  If you see swarms, I’d love to hear from you.  Click on the link below to add your story!

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Have you seen a dragonfly swarm? I am tracking swarms so I can learn more about this interesting behavior.  If you see one, I’d love to hear from you!  Please visit my Report a Dragonfly Swarm page to fill out the official report form.  It only takes a few minutes! Thanks!

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Want more information? Visit my dragonfly swarm information page for my entire collection of posts about dragonfly swarms!

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Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth

Taking Flight (Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday)

Last week was National Moth Week, so I have once again been taking countless photos of moths both at my annual moth night at work and in my own backyard.  Many of my photos turn out well enough to help me get an ID for the things I see, but every now and again I get one like this:

Photo of a moth flying away from the camera

Almost…

SOOOOO frustrating!

(I’ve been away at a conference and busy as heck at work recently, but I should get back to my normal schedule here for a while.  See you Friday!)

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Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth

Lifer (Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday)

Many people keep life lists of the species they’ve encountered.  Getting to add a new species to that list, whether the species is uncommon or not, is always a thrill.  This painted skimmer was a lifer for me:

Painted skimmer, Libellula semifasciata

Painted skimmer, Libellula semifasciata

I was headed to the back gate as I was closing up at the field station and slammed on the brakes when I saw a flutter of orange over the prairie.  We’ve had a lot of similarly colored Halloween pennants around recently, but this was much too big and flew differently.  Was absolutely thrilled to discover that the dragonfly I caught out of the corner of my eye was a painted skimmer, a new species for me!  I rushed back to see if it was already on the species list for the site and was mildly disappointed that I was not the first to see one on the grounds, but checking that species off in my field guide more than made up for it.  :)

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Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth

June Beetle Mob

It’s been a long week, so though I started a Friday 5, I’m not going to finish it before I fall asleep… Instead, I wanted to quickly share a video of some eastern green June beetles I encountered today as I walked past a bald cypress.  There was a lot of frantic buzzing going on, so I peered into the tree and saw this:

Apparently there was a shortage of female June bugs in the area as a good dozen males were flying around the immediate area and several males were attempting to mate with the one female in this video at one time.  I felt a little sorry for her, pursued by so many amorous males at once…

The June bugs appeared about two weeks later than usual here this year (that seems to be the case for many species in my area of North Carolina), but they seem more numerous than I’ve ever seen them too.  SO many Jung bugs flying around!  But I love it.  What gorgeous, fun animals.

I am going to try to get the post I started up tomorrow, but we’ll see if I get it finished.  Here’s hoping I’ll feel a little more energetic tomorrow!

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Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth

Swarm Sunday: 6/28/15 – 7/4/15

Dragonfly Swarm Project logoHappy Fourth of July weekend to my American readers – and happy weekend to everyone else!  Let’s take a look at the dragonfly swarming activity of the last week, shall we?  Swarms occurred in the following locations:

USA:

Buckeye, AZ
Santa Barbara, CA
Boulder, CO
Broomfield, CO
Colorado Springs, CO
Denver, CO (2 swarms)
Highlands Ranch, CO
Hudson, CO
Lakewood, CO (2 swarms)
Loveland, CO
Melbourne, FL
Boise, ID
Homedale, ID
Grand Marais, MN
Clayton, NC
Bountiful, UT

Canada:

Thunder Bay, ON

And here is the US map for last week:

6.28.15 to 7.4.15

 

 

 

Click the map to enlarge!

Well, that’s not something you see everyday!  Look how many reports of US dragonfly swarms came from the west!  There is still a lot of action taking place along the Front Range in Colorado, as there was last week, with nearly all contributors reporting severe weather in the area.  There were also reports in Utah, Arizona, and Idaho, all of which rarely see swarms.  The two lone eastern static swarms took place in states bordering the Atlantic and there was a migratory event along the northern edge of Lake Superior recently as well.  Overall, a very odd week, so I can’t wait to see what happens next week!  Will it be another weird week with a lot of western swarms, or will the normal pattern of mostly eastern swarms reassert itself?

We’re heading into the peak season this week or next, so expect to see a larger list of swarms coming soon!

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Have you seen a dragonfly swarm? I am tracking swarms so I can learn more about this interesting behavior.  If you see one, I’d love to hear from you!  Please visit my Report a Dragonfly Swarm page to fill out the official report form.  It only takes a few minutes! Thanks!

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Want more information? Visit my dragonfly swarm information page for my entire collection of posts about dragonfly swarms!

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Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth

Fly on Fly Noshing (Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday)

Last week, I was helping an employee measure leaves for a project she’s doing for her master’s degree when she came across this awesome robber fly:

Robber fly on bid leaf magnolia

Robber fly on bid leaf magnolia

Watching robber flies always feels kinda like watching one of those nature documentaries to me, the kind where a cheetah is chasing a gazelle.  You feel sorry for the gazelle when the cheetah gets it, but you are also secretly just a little happy to see the cheetah take it down.  Robber flies are the cheetahs in this scenario and the little midge it’s got is the gazelle.  You can’t help but root for the robber fly a bit, even though it’s sitting there sucking out the brains of another insect.

Isn’t nature gloriously gruesome sometimes?

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Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth

Swarm Sunday: 6/21/15 – 6/27/15

Dragonfly Swarm Project logoIt’s Sunday, so time for this week’s swarm report!  Swarms occurred in the following locations over the past week:

USA:

Mobile, AL
Aurora, CO
Boulder, CO
Broomfield, CO (2 swarms)
Centennial, CO
Denver, CO (3 swarms)
Longmont, CO
St. Charles, MO
Long Branch, NJ
Cayce, SC
Spokane, WA

Vietnam:

Hoi An

And here is the US map for last week:

swarm map 6.21.15 to 6.27.15

 

Red pins are static swarms, yellow pins are migratory. Click the map to enlarge!

Clearly there’s something interesting going on in Colorado!  Everyone is reporting flooding and severe storms there, so it looks like a disturbance in the area is stirring up the dragonfly population pretty well.  That seems to happen periodically in Colorado – big storms or fires or floods produce big dragonfly events for a few weeks.  We’ll see if it lasts into next week.  Otherwise, just a few reports scattered across the country, i.e. the normal conditions for this time of year.  Also, a new country for the list where swarms have been reported to date: Vietnam!  That brings the total up to 31 countries, which really highlights the fact that a variety of species do this behavior and it’s not specific to a certain area or group of species.

The season should be picking up soon, so send in reports of any swarms you see!

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Have you seen a dragonfly swarm? I am tracking swarms so I can learn more about this interesting behavior.  If you see one, I’d love to hear from you!  Please visit my Report a Dragonfly Swarm page to fill out the official report form.  It only takes a few minutes! Thanks!

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Want more information? Visit my dragonfly swarm information page for my entire collection of posts about dragonfly swarms!

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Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth