I didn’t have a chance to post last week, so what you see here represents two weeks of data. Swarm reports came from the following locations:
Miami Beach, FL
West Bend, MD
And here are the maps for the last two weeks:
6/22/14 through 6/28/14
6/29/14 through 7/5/14
Red pins are static swarms, yellow pins are migratory. Click the map to enlarge!
It continues to be a little slow so far this year, though there was one migratory swarm reported from Utah this week, which is exciting. There has been rather consistent activity in the southeastern part of Texas over the last month, though nothing really extraordinary seems to be happening anywhere so far. Hurricane Arthur didn’t even seem to stir anything up! I’m still hoping things will pick up soon, but you never know.
One thing has disturbed me though. In the past several years, green darners have made appearances in swarms over and over again. They often form the bulk of swarms. This year, very few people have described anything that sounds like a green darner from their swarms. I’ve also started to hear some ominous rumblings on the odonate listservs and Facebook pages where people have started to ask where the green darners are this year. People have really started to notice their near absence, which isn’t good. We typically have a lot of darners at the pond at the field station where I work, but this year I haven’t seen many at all, maybe 5 or 6 total. At this time of year, we should have 5-6 on the pond every day, not 5-6 for the entire season! There’s always a chance things are just terribly late this year and things will normalize at some point, but I’ve personally noticed some weird things happening this year. Monarchs are out in North Carolina in droves right now, and they’re normally long gone for the heat of the summer, having migrated further north. The common milkweed is going absolute gangbusters, but there are several conspicuously common butterflies (eastern tiger swallowtails and pipevine swallowtails among them) that are well below their normal numbers this year. Fireflies are STILL out here, and the June bugs emerged a week or two early. Have any of you noticed similar things out of whack in your area? I shouldn’t extrapolate what I’m seeing in North Carolina to the rest of the country, even the rest of the east coast, but I’ve heard enough from other entomologists on social media to think that this is going to be an odd year. It will be interesting to see if this ends up being a weird swarming year too!
Keep reporting those swarms! Was very pleased to see swarm reports from several regular readers over the last couple of weeks. Thanks everyone!!
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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