Posts Tagged 'Odonata'

Exuviae

Wait… what? This Rambur’s Forktail damselfly is perched on the exuviae of a dragonfly.Another view of the male Rambur’s green-blue color pattern. Dragon- and damselfly eggs are laid on or near water. The larval stage is aquatic. After a season, or a year (or more depending on species and location), the aquatic nymph crawls out of the water, onto a twig, stone, etc. A floating leaf in this case. The adults emerge from these, with wings! The remaining husks of exosleton are called exuviae. These were left by dragonflies: the short wing-like gill structures on the back tell you this. This is what’s left of an aquatic damselfly. The gills are at the end of the abdomen. This is about an inch-long and quite hard to see from up above. There were a lot of dragonfly exuviae around the Sylvan Water the other day, presumably from Eastern Amberwings, which were all over the place. This was the only damselfly exuvia I found, even though there were several adult damselflies flying.And mating…

Three Common Brooklyn Damselflies

In my experience, these are the three most common Brooklyn damselflies. Eastern Forktail male. Beware that Rambur’s Forktail and Furtive Forktail males also have variations on this green thorax/blue end segments coloring. Fragile Forktail male. The broken green lines on the thorax, upside down exclamation points in this case, are unique. Not sure where this “Fragile” name comes from, since I see this species all over the place. Seems like a tough little critter to me.This is a female Forktail — you can just see the exclamation points. Note that the scale is different for all these pictures. The Forktails (Ischnura genus) are small, running from just under an inch to nearly an inch and a half long depending on the species.Here’s a Fragile ovipositing, dipping her abdomen under water to lay her eggs. Familiar Bluet male. Several of the mostly-blue bluets of the Enallagama genus can only really be told apart by their cerci. These are the structures at the end of the abdomen. They use these to grasp females during sex. Only male and females of the same species “fit” together. Attached to him just behind her head, she can bend forward to attach herself to his second abdominal section, the location of his genitalia.Behold, the “wheel” of mating. There are two damselfly nymph husks on this vertical twig. After hatching, damselfly larva become fierce little aquatic predators. They molt as they grow underwater. Given the date these were spotted, early June, these must have overwintered in Sylvan Water before emerging on a warm day to break out as the adult, flying form. See the green eyes of an emerging adult? It will have to harden off and develop some color over the next few hours.Looks like a brand new Fragile Forktail, soon to start clearing the air of tiny insects. (Click all images to fill uyp your screen.)

More Insects

The Common Sootywing. The Kaufman guide says “flight is slow and close to the ground” but I beg to differ with the first characterization. This was about the tenth I’ve seen in various places before I could get a photo.Black Swallowtail, another mover, if not shaker.This is a Great Blue Skimmer, another case where the description of the adult male gives us the common name. This is the female. This photo makes her look smaller than in real life. The larval Asian Ladybug (they seem to have dropped the “multicolored” in the common name; what’s distinguishing about them is that they are variably spotted in the adult form).

No photo, but on 6/2 I spotted a Two-spotted Ladybug in the same Brooklyn Bridge Park patch I first found them in in 2012. I also wrote about them for Humans & Nature.

Odes

Spot-winged Glider, in a rare perch. They can spend hours in the air.Blue Dasher male, quite common and frequently perched.Eastern Pondhawk male.Male Painted SkimmerThis damselfly is peculiar. I can find no matching ID for it, and both iNaturalist and bugguide.net remain silent to my queries. I think it may be a maturing andromorph (that is, male-like) female Eastern Forktail. Lam illustrates six forms of Ischnura verticalis; Paulson pictures five forms. None of their examples are quite this one, though, Bar-winged Skimmer male. A new species for me.

All spotted in either Brooklyn or the Bronx recently. A quick reminder: males are usually patrolling water bodies, which females only visit for mating purposes.And here’s a female Common Whitetail, away from the water…

Darning (?)

Common Green Darner dragonflies (Anax junius).
This is a migratory species, one of the first seen in the spring and one of the last seen in the fall as they move up and down North America. Male is grasping the female as she oviposits, laying her eggs in the lake in Woodlawn Cemetery. Not all Odonata do it this way: in some species, the female will be on her own; in some, the male will be patrolling nearby; and, in some species, as these, the male will continue to stay attached after fertilization.

So far, the only other Odonata action I’ve seen in NYC this season have been a couple of big blue darners of some kind patrolling a sunny path filled with Diptera at Jamaica Bay. They did not pause for photographs. Word on the street is that there are an extraordinary number of dragonflies around the NYC metropolitan area; evidently northwest winds created an unusual fallout situation yesterday. I’ll to keep my eyes open today.

***
Going to use my pulpit here to print this NYC City Council Resolution (No. 864). Wordy, aspirational (what the last sentence actually means isn’t addressed), but this gives a good sense of the interconnected challenges largely going unmet here in the wealthiest city in the country, not to mention the rest of the nation. Contact your council member to get it passed.

Resolution declaring a climate emergency and calling for an immediate emergency mobilization to restore a safe climate.

By Council Members Kallos and Constantinides

Whereas, On April 22, 2016, world leaders from 174 countries and the European Union recognized the threat of climate change and the urgent need to combat it by signing the Paris Agreement, agreeing to keep warming well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C; and

Whereas, On October 8, 2018, the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change (“IPCC”) released a special report, which projected that limiting warming to the 1.5°C target this century will require an unprecedented transformation of every sector of the global economy over the next 12 years; and

Whereas, On November 23, 2018, the United States Fourth National Climate Assessment (“NCA4”) was released and details the massive threat that climate change poses to the American economy, our environment and climate stability, and underscores the need for immediate climate emergency action at all levels of government; and

Whereas, According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), global temperatures in 2018 were .83°C (1.5°F) warmer than the 1951 to 1980 mean, and the past five years are collectively the warmest in modern history; and

The death and destruction already wrought by climate change demonstrates that the Earth is already too hot for safety, as attested by increased and intensifying wildfires, floods, rising seas, diseases, droughts and extreme weather; and
Whereas, World Wildlife Fund’s 2018 Living Planet report finds that there has been 60% decline in global wildlife populations between 1970 and 2014, with causes including overfishing, pollution and climate change;

Whereas, According to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, human activity has already severely altered 40% of the marine environment, 50% of inland waterways, and 75% of the planet’s land, and it is projected that half-to-one million species are threatened with extinction, many within the next few decades; and

Whereas, The United States of America has disproportionately contributed to the climate and extinction emergencies and has repeatedly obstructed global efforts to transition toward a green economy, and thus bears an extraordinary responsibility to rapidly address these existential threats; and

Whereas, Restoring a safe and stable climate requires transformative societal and economic change on a scale not seen since World War II to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors, to rapidly and safely drawdown or remove all the excess carbon from the atmosphere, to end the 6th mass extinction of species, and to implement measures to protect all people and species from the increasingly severe consequences of climate change; and
Whereas, A sweeping overhaul of the economy that centers on equity and justice in its solutions is vital to our future and must include the following goals: dramatically expand existing renewable power sources and deploy new production capacity with the goal of meeting 100% of national power demand through renewable sources; build a national, energy-efficient, “smart” grid; upgrade every residential and industrial building for state-of-the-art energy efficiency, comfort and safety; eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing, agricultural and other industries, including by investing in local-scale agriculture in communities across the country; repair and improve transportation and other infrastructure, and upgrade water infrastructure to ensure universal access to clean water; fund massive investment in the drawdown of greenhouse gases; make “green” technology, industry, expertise, products and services a major export of the United States, with the aim of becoming the international leader in helping other countries become greenhouse gas neutral economies and bringing about a global transition; and

Whereas, Marginalized populations in New York City and worldwide, including people of color, immigrants, indigenous communities, low-income individuals, people with disabilities, and the unhoused are already disproportionately affected by climate change, and will continue to bear an excess burden as temperatures increase, oceans rise, and disasters worsen; and
Whereas, Addressing climate change fairly requires a “Just Transition” from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy that is ecologically sustainable and equitable for all people, especially those most impacted by climate change already and those who will be most impacted in the future; and

Whereas, Core to a Just Transition is equity, self-determination, culture, tradition, deep democracy, and the belief that people around the world have a fundamental human right to clean, healthy and adequate air, water, land, food, education, healthcare, and shelter; and
Whereas, Just Transition strategies were first forged by a “blue-green” alliance of labor unions and environmental justice groups who saw the need to phase out the industries that were harming workers, community health, and the planet, while also providing just pathways for workers into new livelihoods; and

Whereas, Just Transition initiatives shift the economy from dirty energy that benefits fossil fuel companies to energy democracy that benefits our people, environment and a clean, renewable energy economy, from funding new highways to expanding public transit, from incinerators and landfills to zero waste products, from industrial food systems to food sovereignty, from car-dependent sprawl and destructive unbridled growth to smart urban development without displacement, and from destructive over-development to habitat and ecosystem restoration; and

Whereas, Building a society that is resilient to the current, expected, and potential effects of climate change will protect health, lives, ecosystems, and economies, and such resilience efforts will have the greatest positive impact if the most dramatic potential consequences of climate change are taken into account; and

Whereas, Climate justice calls for climate resilience planning that addresses the specific experiences, vulnerabilities, and needs of marginalized communities within our jurisdiction, who must be included and supported in actively engaging in climate resilience planning, policy, and actions; and

Whereas, Actions to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and/or drawdown greenhouse gases may be taken in ways that also improve resilience to the effects of climate change, and vice versa; and

Whereas, Climate justice requires that frontline communities, which have historically borne the brunt of the extractive fossil-fuel economy, participate actively in the planning and implementation of this mobilization effort at all levels of government and that they benefit first from the transition to a renewable energy economy; and

Whereas, Fairness demands the protection and expansion of workers’ right to organize as well as a guarantee of high-paying, high-quality jobs with comprehensive benefits for all as the mobilization to restore a safe climate is launched; and

Whereas, Common sense demands that this unprecedented mobilization effort address the full suite of existential ecological threats facing humanity in a comprehensive, integrated and timely fashion; and

Whereas, Nearly 400 cities, districts and counties across the world representing over 34 million people collectively have recently declared or officially acknowledged the existence of a global climate emergency, including Hoboken, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Montgomery County, Oakland, Richmond, and Santa Cruz in the United States, Bristol and London in the United Kingdom and many cities in Australia, Canada, and Switzerland; and

Whereas, New York City, as the largest city in the United States, can act as a global leader by both converting to an ecologically, socially, and economically regenerative economy at emergency speed, and by rapidly organizing a regional just transition and climate emergency mobilization effort; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, The City Council declares a climate emergency and calls for an immediate emergency mobilization to restore a safe climate.

Ischnura ramburii

Wednesday is traditionally Raptor Day here at B&B. Damselflies are quite the airborne predators, so….

This one is an immature female Rambur’s Forktail (Ischnura ramburii), spotted at Jamaica Bay with numerous others of her species. I’ve seen a male away from the Bay, in Green-Wood once. Several of the Ischnura genus have orange colored immature females.

Michel Edmond de Sélys Longchamps (1813-1900), a Belgian considered the founder of odontology, named this species after Jules Pierre Rambur (1801-1870), a French entomologist.
***

I wonder how many times Kavanaugh has committed perjury so far? His opening statement yesterday was full of them. While judges can be impeached for lying, this seems unlikely as long as we put all our hopes in corporate Democrats. The long march of the right to capturing the judiciary is almost complete. For generations, these corporate, fundamentalist fascists will try to stifle the will of the majority of us. It’s going to be a hell of a fight.

Damselflies

One of the Lestes genus spreadwing damselflies.Spotted in Sapsucker Woods. One of the differences between dragon and damselflies is that damselflies rest with their wings closed. Except of course for the spreadwings… I think it’s the Spotted (L. congener), but I’m not a 100% sure on that. I’d never seen it before. Spotted on the same trail, an immature female Eastern Forktail (Ischnura verticalis). There are three color forms for the mature females in this species. Hadn’t thought I’d seen this version, but checking my records, I saw that I had.

***

There are a bevy of actions against the poisoning of the Supreme Court by Kavanaugh this Sunday. #StopKavanaugh nation-wide.


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