Friday, July 18, 2014

Cool Clubtails

If June was for skimmers then July is apparently for clubtails.

A couple days ago Rhoda found Dragonhunter in an inlet off Lake Chapin.  We kayaked out yesterday hoping to net one.  There was a nice species diversity there, with Cyrano Darner, River Cruiser, and 3 species of clubtails among others.  The only one we netted yesterday was Black-shouldered Spinyleg.  One landed on my head at one point; they seemed to like to fly out from the trees to land on horizontal surfaces close to the water's surface.
It's fairly large, almost 6cm long with huge hind legs (apparently they prey on large insects up to medium sized dragonflies).  It looks like a kangaroo.

I glimpsed this next one but missed it yesterday.  When I returned today it was back on the same log.  It was so old it actually didn't bother flying the first time I swept the net an inch or 2 over it.  I had to practically hit it with the rim of the net on the 2nd swing.
It's actually somewhat similarly patterned to the larger spinyleg in that the rear areas of the thorax (body) are fairly lightly patterned.  The arrangement of the partial and full stripes makes it a Unicorn Clubtail.  I'm not sure why it's named that way though.

And finally the bad M-Fer that drew Rhoda back the same time it did me today.  Dragonhunter.  She nabbed it out of the air with a well-timed swing.  All these pics are hers.
 It's a freaking monster, by far the biggest ode I've handled.

I'm not sure where a person goes from here, but it was cool.  I have been to the beach about 4 times in the last week, but so far just willets.  I bet there's more odes out there waiting for discovery though.

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