4 Before Africa - East Texas -  69 species - 7-10 June 2010

Prior to our departure for Africa, Marla wanted to spend most of the week with her Dad in Cypress. Seemed like a great opportunity for me to target some of the late spring SE TX species.

Monday (6/7) mostly San Jacinto Co

left Cypress at 6:00 a.m. to beat the traffic. Arrived at Sheppard at 7:30 a.m. Stopped for a few minutes at the roadside park on Hwy 150 at Big Creek. Saw:

Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata) lots
Swift River Cruiser (Macromia illinoiensis) 2-3

Drove on over the Big Creek Scenic Area - main target for the morning being Emeralds (Somatochlora sp) - searched from 8:00-12:00. Had good numbers of TX Emeralds over the road and parking lot, along with several other interesting bugs. Stayed out on the road and parking lot area from 8:00-10:00, then hiked the creek from about 10:00-12:00. Was mostly overcast except very early. Found:

Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata) lots
Powdered Dancer (Argia moesta) lots
Blue-tipped Dancer (Argia tibialis) lots

Gray Petaltail (Tachopteryx thoreyi) 4-5

Fawn Darner (Boyeria vinosa) 4-5, one pair in wheel

Black-shouldered Spinylag (Dromogomphus spinosus) 3-4

Gulf-coast Clubtail (Gomphus modestus) 1 . . . way up in pine tree

Dragonhunter (Hagenius brevistylus) 6-7

Common Sanddragon (Progomphus obscurus) 4-5
Swift River Cruiser (Macromia illinoiensis) 1

Prince Baskettail (Epitheca princeps) 2 above treetops

TEXAS EMERALD (Somatochlora margarita) 6-7

Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta) 3
Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) 1
Common Whitetail (Plathemis lydia) 1

Netted 1 male TEXAS EMERALD, got in hand and posed photos. Also got good flight shots of a female. My male flight shots from this location were very poor.

Went over to Double Lakes Rec Area and searched there from 12:30-3:00. Still mostly overcast. Found:

Blue-fronted Dancer (Argia apicalis) 2

teneral Argia 10+

Double-striped Bluet (Enallagma basidens) 10+

Orange Bluet (Enallagma signatum) 2

SLENDER BLUET (Enallagma traviatum) 10+

Gray Petaltail (Tachopteryx thoreyi) 1
Regal Darner (Coryphaeschna ingens) 1 ovipositing female - saw me when I raised camera and flew away!!!
Two-striped Forceptail (Aphylla williamsoni) 1 flushed from shoreline into trees

Common Sanddragon (Progomphus obscurus) 4-5 on swimming beach

Prince Baskettail (Epitheca princeps) 2
cf Texas Emerald (Somatochlora margarita) 1
Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis) lots
Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta) lots
Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa) 1
Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) lots
Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera) lots

Following Martin Reid's advice (to search for Laura's Clubtails later in day), went back to Big Creek Scenic Area and searched from 3:30-6:30. Still cloudy but sun beginning to break through in spots. Found:

Sparkling Jewelwing (Calopteryx dimidiata) 1

Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata) lots
Powdered Dancer (Argia moesta) lots

Blue-tipped Dancer (Argia tibialis) lots

Gray Petaltail (Tachopteryx thoreyi) 1
Swamp Darner (Epiaeschna heros) 1
Fawn Darner (Boyeria vinosa) 2
Dragonhunter (Hagenius brevistylus) 4

Common Sanddragon (Progomphus obscurus) 1

LAURA'S CLUBTAIL (Stylurus laurae) AT LEAST 12!!!

Texas Emerald (Somatochlora margarita) 1-2

Got photos of 8 different individals of S. laurae, including shots of 3 different males using the 105 mm macro, zoomed in on their eyes! Only saw 2 females - 1 teneral I got photos of and one adult that I didn't. Also saw several tenerals which flew up into canopy that I couldn't positively ID.

While talking on the phone to my dad at the jct of FR 217 and Hwy 150 at 7:00-7:30, noticed a few bugs flying around, including another Texas Emerald.

Swamp Darner (Epiaeschna heros) 1

Texas Emerald (Somatochlora margarita) 1 female, netted, in hand and posed photos

Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerta) 1

Stopped at the Trinity River boat Ramp from 7:45-8:30 to look for Shadowdragons, but only saw a few Swamp Darners fly by. Drove to Boykin Springs to spend the night.

Tuesday (8/8) - mostly Jasper/Angelina Counties, but meandered through Tyler and Hardin Counties on way back to Cypress

Woke up at 6:30. Hiked up to the lake from my campsite. Already a few Odes flying:

Prince Baskettail (Epitheca princeps) 4
Calico Pennant (Celithemis elisa) 2
Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis) 3-4

Ate breakfast, then drove up to hike the radio tower road back to the hillside pitcher plant seeps there. Searched from 8:00-11:30. Most of this road is in Angelina County, but I spent most of my time at the last seep which is in Jasper County. Mostly sunny, with increasing clouds. Found:

Seepage Dancer (Argia bipunctulata) 10+

Gray Petaltail (Tachopteryx thoreyi) 5-6

REGAL DARNER (Coryphaeschna ingens) 1 male, hung up, FINALLY got photos of this species!

Arrowhead Spiketail (Cordulegaster obliqua) 1 female

Swift River Cruiser (Macromia illinoiensis) 3 (1 hung up)

Prince Baskettail (Epitheca priceps) 2

Texas Emerald (Somatochlora margarita) 10+ . . . flight photos, 1 male netted, in-hand and posed shots

Halloween Pennant (Celithemis eponina) 1
Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis) 4-5
Little Blue Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax miniscula) 1-2

Golden-winged Skimmer (Libellula auripennis) 1

Yellow-sided Skimmer (Libellula flavida) 2-3
Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa) 2 females
Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) 10+
Carolina Saddlebags (Tramea carolina) 2-3

Saw Texas Emeralds in both Counties, but only got photos to voucher from Jasper. Spiketail was in Angelina.

Ran over to the "Beaver Ponds" near Sam Rayburn Dam, searched there from 11:45-2:00. Sunny until about 1:30, then storm rolled in quickly. Found:

Swamp Spreadwing (Lestes vigilax) 4

Attenuated Bluet (Enallagma daeckii) 10+

Burgundy Bluet (Enallagma dubium) 1

Citrine Forktail (Ischnura hastata) 5-6
Fragile Forktail (Ischnura posita) lots
Sphagnum Sprite (Nehalennia gracilis) 3
Southern Sprite (Nehalennia integricollis) lots

DUCKWEED FIRETAIL (Telebasis beyersi) 3 . . . 2 males, 1 female

Amanda's Pennant (Celithemis amanda) 2

Banded Pennant (Celithemis fasciata) 10+

Ornate Pennant (Celithemis ornata) 10+

Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis) lots
Little Blue Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax miniscula) lots

Golden-winged Skimmer (Libellula auripennis) lots

Bar-winged Skimmer (Libellula axilena) 10+

Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta) lots

Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) lots
Spot-winged Glider (Pantala hymenaea) 1 hung up

Common Whitetail (Plathemis lydia) 1
Carolina Saddlebags (Tramea carolina) 10+

I'd intended to go back and search Boykin Creek and (time permitting) some smaller nearby streams (hoping for Mocha Emeralds like Tripp found) but with the rain, had to head south. Stopped at hillside north of Boykin to make phone call, had both Wandering and Spot-winged Gliders flying only minutes after storm passed.

Next, stopped at Sundew Trail on Big Thicket preserve in southern Tyler County.  From 4:00-4:40. Very overcast, found only:

Gray Petaltail (Tachopteryx thoreyi) 1

Swamp Darner (Epiaeschna heros) 1

Stopped at a couple of roadside pools in Hardin County. At first just south of Honey Island, found:

Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta) 2

Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans) 1

Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) 10+
Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera) 10+

at 2nd, just north of the jct with TX Hwy 105 on FM 770, found:

Swamp Darner (Epiaeschna heros) 1
Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta) 1

Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans) 2-3
Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) 10+
Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera) lots

Drove into Lance Rosier Unit of Big Thicket - just a few Great Blue Skimmers along roadside.

Stopped at one last roadside pool on 105 about a mile east of jct FM 2518. Found:

Rambur's Forktail (Ischnura ramburii) 4
Swamp Darner (Epiaeschna heros) 1
Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicollis) 1
Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta) 3
Hyacinth Glider (Miathyria marcella) 1
Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) 10+

Wandering Glider (Pantala flavescens) 10+ - 1 hung up

Spot-winged Glider (Pantala hymenaea) 2-3
Carolina Saddlebags (Tramea carolina) 2-3
Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata) 3-4
Red Saddlebags (Tramea onusta) 1

6/9/10 - Harris Co - Cypress & Kingwood

Today, searched locally in the Cypress Area for odes, then while visiting one of Marla's childhood friends in Kingwood on Lake Houston, took a walk down by the lack and saw a few species.

In Cypress, I started at a small park off of Frye Road that consists (as most subdivisions around here do) of an "improved" pond (lined with concrete and with no vegetation) . . . but at the edge of the subdivision, there was a drainage ditch and an overgrown pasture behind it . . . in between the drainage ditch and the pasture I literally found hundreds upon hundreds of Odes, 90% of which were Needham's Skimmers. Found:

Blue-fronted Dancer (Argia apicalis) 1
Regal Darner (Coryphaeschna ingens) 1 fly by

Jade clubtail (Arigomphus submedianus) 1

Flag-tailed Spinyleg (Dromogomphus spoliatus) 3

Four-spotted Pennant (Brachymesia gravida) 2

Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis) 10+
Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta) 10+

Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa) 2

Needham's Skimmer (Libellula needhami) 100s

Roseate Skimmer (Orthemis ferruginea) 10+
Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) lots

Wandering Glider (Pantala flavescens) lots

Spot-winged Glider (Pantala hymenea) 10+
Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera) 10+

Common Whitetail (Platemis lydia) lots

Carolina Saddlebags (Tramea carolina) 5-6
Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata) 10+

Red Saddlebags (Tramea onusta) 10+

At the small pond behind a neighbor's house across the street from my father-in-law's, found:

Rambur's Forktail (Ischnura ramburii) 4-5

Stillwater Clubtail (Arigomphus lentulus) 1

Four-spotted Pennant (Brachymesia gravida) 1
Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis) lots
Little Blue Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax miniscula) 4-5

Needham's Skimmer (Libellula needhami) about 10

Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) lots

Wandering Glider (Pantala flavescens) 2

Spot-winged Glider (Pantala hymenea) 2
Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera) 2-3

Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata) 2

Red/Carolina Saddlebags (Tramea sp) 1

At Lake Houston/Kingwood, found only a few things:

Orange Bluet (Enallagma signatum) 4

Rambur's Forktails (Ischnura ramburii) lots
Four-spotted Pennant (Brachymesia gravida) 1

Halloween Pennant (Celithemis eponina) 2

Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicollis) lots

Hyacinth Glider (Miathyria marcella) 2

Roseate Skimmer (Orthemis ferruginea) 1
Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) lots
Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera) lots
Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata) 1
Red Saddlebags (Tramea onusta) 1

6/10/2010 - Neches River at Silsbee & Anahuac NWR

Today I ran over to the Neches River at US 96 east of Silsbee where Tripp had reported the Shadowdragons earlier this week. Searched there from about 9:00 until 11:45. Found (lifers in CAPS):

Smoky Rubyspot (Hetaerina titia) lots New County Record

Blue-fronted Dancer (Argia apicalis) 10+ would be NCR, no photo
Powdered Dancer (Argia moesta) lots

Big Bluet (Enallagma durum) 1 female

Rambur's Forktail (Ischnura ramburii) 2
Swamp Darner (Epiaeschna heros) 1

Cyrano Darner (Nasiaeschna pentacantha) 2-3 NCR

Bayou Clubtail (Arigomphus maxwelli) 1

Cobra Clubtail (Gomphus vastus) 2 NCR

Swift River Cruiser (Macromia illinoiensis) 1 teneral female NCR

Royal River Cruiser (Macromia taeniolata) 1 hung up for photos

SMOKY SHADOWDRAGON (Neurocordulia molesta) 1 female, lots of photos

Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis) lots
Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta) 10+
Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans) lots
Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) 10+
Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera) 4-5 - 1 being eaten by Diogmites robberfly (no photos, drat!)

The shadowdragon flushed from thick brush about 50 yards from the river . . . flushed again after the first series of photos and retreated back into a brush pile where it seemed comfortable . . . she allowed me to break away twigs and such in order to get clear photos.

The Royal River Cruiser flew in and hung up on a dangling vine that spun and rotated about while he was up there, allowing multiple perspectives without me changing position at all.

Also stopped at Village Creek on US 96, didn't see much there but did get another apparent NCR - found:

Smoky Rubyspot (Hetaerina titia) 10+
Powdered Dancer (Argia moesta) 10+
Rambur's Forktail (Ischnura ramburii) 10+
Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis) 10+

Needham's Skimmer (Libellula needhami) 1 NCR

Decided to hit up Anahuac on way home for a "sure thing" Lifer - stopped first at the Rice Fields east of the main refuge road by about 7 miles - found (1300-1355 hrs):

Rambur's Forktail (Ischnura ramburii) 10+

Four-spotted Pennant (Brachymesia gravida) lots
Halloweeen Pennant (Celithemis eponina) 1
Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis) lots

SEASIDE DRAGONLET (Erythrodiplax berenice) 8 (black males, orange female)

Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) lots
Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera) 1

At the Entrance pond at Anahuac NWR (Willow Trail), found (1400-1500 hrs):

Rambur's Forktail (Ischnura ramburii) 10+
Four-spotted Pennant (Brachymesia gravida) 10+
Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis) 10+

Seaside Dragonlet (Erthrodiplax berenice) 100s upon 100s, all colors and phases

Marl Pennant (Macrodiplax balteata) 1 - did not allow me to maneuver for good photos - would have been NCR

Red Saddlebags (Tramea onusta) 2