Elusive Clubtail

On the downslope of summer, beneath a swirl of low gray clouds, against a cool presaging wind, I entered the Cowling Arboretum. Some middle school boys fished the pool downstream of the bridge and weir. They whooped and cheered as one of the boys held up a respectable Northern Pike.

I sauntered through the small meadow that had, until a few years ago, been the site of several tennis courts. Today, all the edges of the rectangular clearing were bright yellow with wide swathes of blooming goldenrod. Even in the absence of sun, the flowers attracted a lot of insects: Honey Bees, Jagged Ambush Bugs, Goldenrod Soldier Beetles, Black Blister Beetles, Beewolves, and various other bees and flies. The Five-banded Thynnid Wasps (moved recently from the Tiphiidae family) were especially prevalent, especially the large females.

After the goldenrod, I ambled riverside, enjoying the cool weather. A sparse rain fell at one point and then stopped after a few minutes. I walked to the turtle pond with the intent of looking for Saffron-winged Meadowhawks, which I've occasionally encountered near that pond in past years. Walking along the river, knowing September to be less than a week away, I reflected, wistfully, on not having seen a Riverine Clubtail this year. I'd missed seeing Plains Clubtails as well. These regrets faded as I began to encounter a number of darners along the trail, and they vanished completely when I happened upon Great Black Wasps and Great Golden Digger Wasps nectaring on the white blooms of Whorled Milkweed.

After inspecting the turtle pond, witnessing a few massive carp surge and shake up the shallows, hearing numerous frogs yelp as they launched themselves into the water, and finding no meadowhawks, I nearly turned back, but decided to push on to the river. A lucky decision. As I stood on the edge of the riverbank a black dragonfly lifted from the river, glided easily beneath my arm, and disappeared behind me. I comprehended, mid-turn, as I followed its flight, that it was a clubtail. Most likely, I thought it probably kept flying and landed someplace far off or high up. I searched the nearby grass anyway and saw it perched just over ten feet away. This late in the year it was probably a Riverine Clubtail, the very dragonfly I was lamenting not having seen earlier. Very cautiously I inched closer. This dragonfly was not one I'd seen before. Darker and marked differently than the Riverine Clubtail I'd expected it to be, it came in a flash that this was an Elusive Clubtail.

My first encounter with this species was in downtown Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in September 2010. That dragonfly, which I managed to capture by hand, had landed on the back of a bronze statue lion. A not-so-elusive Elusive Clubtail, I joked at the time. Since then I've found nymphs and exuviae in several rivers, including the Cannon River. Twice I've seen tenerals make their first flight to perches high in the treetops. But I have not had another good look at an adult since seeing that first one in South Dakota...until today. I've long suspected its presence in the Cannon River, having found nymphs several times (though never successfully rearing them). Ten years stalking the banks of this river for dragonflies and this was the first Elusive Clubtail I've seen here.

Publicado por scottking scottking, 26 de agosto de 2017, 05:20 AM

Observações

Fotos / Sons

Observador

scottking

Data

Agosto 2017

Descrição

Elusive Clubtail, female
Cowling Arboretum
Northfield, Minnesota

Fotos / Sons

Observador

scottking

Data

Agosto 25, 2017 03:03 PM CDT

Descrição

Common Green Darner
Cowling Arboretum
Northfield, Minnesota

Fotos / Sons

Observador

scottking

Data

Agosto 25, 2017 02:49 PM CDT

Descrição

Band-winged Meadowhawk
Cowling Arboretum
Northfield, Minnesota

Fotos / Sons

Observador

scottking

Data

Agosto 25, 2017 02:27 PM CDT

Descrição

Autumn Meadowhawk
Cowling Arboretum
Northfield, Minnesota

Fotos / Sons

Observador

scottking

Data

Agosto 25, 2017 02:07 PM CDT

Descrição

White-faced Meadowhawks
Cowling Arboretum
Northfield, Minnesota

Fotos / Sons

Observador

scottking

Data

Agosto 25, 2017 03:10 PM CDT

Descrição

Crocus Geometer Moth
Cowling Arboretum
Northfield, Minnesota

Fotos / Sons

Observador

scottking

Data

Agosto 25, 2017 02:59 PM CDT

Descrição

Great Golden Digger Wasp
on Whirled Milkweed
Cowling Arboretum
Northfield, Minnesota

Fotos / Sons

What

Garça-Real-Americana (Ardea herodias)

Observador

scottking

Data

Agosto 25, 2017 02:37 PM CDT

Descrição

Great Blue Heron
Cowling Arboretum
Northfield, Minnesota

Etiquetas

Fotos / Sons

Observador

scottking

Data

Agosto 25, 2017 02:32 PM CDT

Descrição

Swamp Dodder
Cowling Arboretum
Northfield, Minnesota

Fotos / Sons

Observador

scottking

Data

Agosto 25, 2017 02:21 PM CDT

Descrição

Eastern Tailed-blue
Cowling Arboretum
Northfield, Minnesota

Fotos / Sons

Observador

scottking

Data

Agosto 25, 2017 02:10 PM CDT

Descrição

Velvet Ant, male
Cowling Arboretum
Northfield, Minnesota

Etiquetas

Fotos / Sons

Observador

scottking

Data

Agosto 25, 2017 02:04 PM CDT

Descrição

Black Blister Beetle
Cowling Arboretum
Northfield, Minnesota

Fotos / Sons

Observador

scottking

Data

Agosto 25, 2017 02:03 PM CDT

Descrição

Sand Wasp, male
Cowling Arboretum
Northfield, Minnesota

Fotos / Sons

Observador

scottking

Data

Agosto 25, 2017 02:00 PM CDT

Descrição

Five-banded Thynnid Was[
Cowling Arboretum
Northfield, Minnesota

Fotos / Sons

Observador

scottking

Data

Agosto 25, 2017 01:58 PM CDT

Descrição

Corrugated Beewolf
Cowling Arboretum
Northfield, Minnesota

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