Swarm Sunday: 7/20/14 – 7/26/14

Dragonfly Swarm Project logo

We’re still moving along fairly slowly this year.  In the past week, I received reports from the following locations:

USA:

Bulterville, AR
Los Angeles, CA
Madison, CT (2 reports)
Long Beach, NY
Port Washington, WI

Canada:

Saskatoon, SK

And here is the map:

swarm map 7.20.14 to 7.26.14

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

The few swarms reported this week were spread all over everywhere, so it’s hard to even say anything that will wrap up the week.  Here’s my summary of last week’s data: there were some swarms.  :)

The Dragonfly Swarm Project has been selected as one of the Projects of the Day on SciStarter.com this week and next!  In case you all aren’t familiar with SciStarter, it’s an awesome citizen science project aggregator that anyone can use to find citizen science projects that interest them.  Apparently the blog post I wrote for them in 2011 is the all time most popular blog post on their site, so they’re helping me build up some buzz about dragonfly swarms this summer.  It’s always nice to get some help!

We should be headed into the peak season for swarms here shortly, so be sure to report any you see!  I’m hoping it’s going to get really exciting 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

Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday: Crane Flies of Winter

In case you haven’t heard, it’s been SUPER cold in many parts of the US!  We had record low temps in my area a few days ago, so we got hit pretty hard too. Unsurprisingly, the insects have been a wee bit scarce with the cold snap, but these are still going strong:

Crane fly orchid

Crane fly orchid, Tipularia discolor

That’s a crane fly orchid, the closest thing to an actual crane fly I’m likely to see for a while.  They’re awesome plants!  That one leaf pops up in the fall and represents the entire above-ground part of the plant until it disappears in the early spring.  Then in the summer, a tall stalk with 40 or so vaguely crane fly shaped green flowers appears where the leaf used to be.  There are no flowers where there are leaves and no leaves when there are flowers – a pretty funky system!  Even better: the orchid flowers are pollinated by noctuid moths.  When a moth visits a flower, the plant deposits a sticky pollinium (a packet of pollen) on one of the moth’s eyes.  The moth then pollinates other flowers WITH ITS EYEBALL when it finds a new one.  What a crazy bizarre plant!  I enjoy them quite a bit.  Still, I think I’d still prefer to see some insects…

Stay warm everyone!

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