Wednesday, December 2, 2015

McLane Creek Nature Trail Odes

On 14 July 2015, Erika and I explored the McLane Creek Nature Trail near Olympia, Washington. From our visit to this location last year, I knew the park had great dragonfly potential. We did not see many odes last year, but, we were delighted with what we found on this trip.

The most abundant dragonflies were these bluets. As I have mentioned in a few recent posts, bluets are difficult for amateurs to identify. I asked for help from two local experts. Jim Johnson replied, “Tule, Northern, and Boreal are the expected species.” Dennis Paulson wrote, “If I had to guess, I'd say high probability of [their] being Northern Bluets, which are considerably more common than Boreal in western Washington. They also have more black on the middle abdominal segments than populations east of the Cascades. They are definitely not Tule Bluets, which have even more black on the abdomen in both sexes.
The middle two photographs are of dragonflies we already found during our trip. The photo above is a Western Forktail. The photo immediately below is a Four-spotted Skimmer. I have linked their names to previous posts about each species.
In the last photograph, a female Blue-eyed Darner is ovipositing her eggs below the water in emergent vegetation. This behavior is typical for this species. This sighting was only our second of this dragonfly, the first being just a few days before, about which I recently posted.

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