Sunday, August 19, 2018

Swift River Cruiser

I don’t believe we would have seen this Swift River Cruiser were it not for David’s relatively youthful eyes. He, Erika, and I searched the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA) in Denton County, Texas on 10 August 2018. This beautiful dragonfly flew up and perched, hanging high in a tree. I knew river cruisers existed, and always hoped someday I would see one. Not only was this species new for me, it was also the first I have seen of the family Macromiidae. They range across much of eastern North America, with sporadic western records. The slightly spatulate-shaped abdomen is one key to identifying Swift River Cruisers. 

I am not sure if this dragonfly flies swiftly, or if it prefers to fly fast rivers. They are often encountered near rivers, but often fly over forest clearings. Especially during hot weather, they hang at moderate to high levels in forest vegetation (Paulson 2011). They are common in eastern Texas and, although we saw this one at midday, they are usually most active in the mornings (Abbott 2015).

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