1. heinäkuuta 2020

Eastern Pondhawks

I've often speculated about the ferociousness of Eastern Pondhawks (erythemis simplicicollis), and was reminded of that again recently when I saw two individuals, one male and one female, devouring Banded Pennants (Celithemis fasciata). When I looked at my contributions to the Odonata-predation project on iNat, of the 46 observations submitted, 17 were of this species, broken down on these lines:
Other odes as prey-9 (females were the perpetrator in 8 of these, including one eating another Eastern Pondhawk)

The abundance of this species partially explains the high percentage of observations, but prey choices probably play a role as well. For example, Common Whitetails (Plathemis lydia) are of similar abundance, but I have never seen one eating anything. Presumably they're typical prey items are so small that they are caught and dispatched quickly enough to escape observation. Large clubtails often capture large prey items, but Dragonhunters (Hagenius brevistylus) are the only other species I've seen consistently preying on other odes. Arrowhead Spiketails (Cordulegaster obliqua) also capture large prey, Gray Petaltails (Tachopteryx thoreyi) seem to specialize in large butterflies. Most fliers (darners, etc.) appear to prefer smaller prey, though I have twice seen Common Green Darners (Anax junius) capture large odes, Twelve-Spotted Skimmer (Libelulla pulchella) and Widow Skimmer (Libelluala luctuosa). There is also an iNat observation from Oklahoma of a Cyrano Darner (Nasiaeschna pentacantha) devouring a Flag-Tailed Spinyleg (Dromogomphus spoliatus), and another report from a reliable source of another Cyrano capturing a Swift River Cruiser (Macromia illinoiensis). On a smaller scale, I've only seen two damselflies preying on other odes: a Rambur's Forktail (Ischnura ramburii) eating a Stream Bluet (Enallagma exsulans), and a Great Spreadwing (Archilestes grandis) with a Familiar Bluet (Enallagma civile).

Ferocity is not scientifically measurable, but if it were, Eastern Pondhawks, centimeter for centimeter, would rank at or near the top of that scale.

Lähetetty 1. heinäkuuta 2020 00:14 käyttäjältä arrowheadspiketail58 arrowheadspiketail58 | 2 havaintoa | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

3. syyskuuta 2019

iNat Observation #5000

Okay, so it's just a number- but it's a nice, round number that looks good in print. My 5000th iNat observation was of a White-Cloaked Tiger Beetle (Eunota togata) at Quivira NWR in Stafford County Kansas on Sunday, September 1st 2019. I got started with iNaturalist in 2016 by participating in the first Oklahoma Virtual BioBlitz in April of that year. I have since added observations dating back to 2013 (when I first went digital), along with a handful from my film camera days. I was already beginning to extend my range of interests well beyond birds, but being on iNat has motivated me to cast an even wider net, metaphorically if not literally, and given me the opportunity to learn from a lot of knowledgeable people in the iNaturalist-sphere (as well as getting to see everyone else's amazing observations). And now, on to the next 5000.

Bill Carrell
Tulsa, OK

Lähetetty 3. syyskuuta 2019 18:46 käyttäjältä arrowheadspiketail58 arrowheadspiketail58 | 1 havainto | 1 kommentti | Jätä kommentti

12. elokuuta 2019

.......or There and Back Again

Greetings All,

Just returned from another journey, this time to Colorado (where I haven't been in more than 20 years) and NE New Mexico. Didn't find a lot of what I was specifically looking for ( primarily in the odonate category), but did have a couple of surprises and a lot of interesting stuff as always. Bookended the week with Prairie Rattlesnake encounters, the first last Saturday when one decided it wasn't going to let me drive into Cottonwood Canyon in Las Animas county, at least not without a fight. The second was last Friday, when I almost stepped on one in Black Mesa State Park (Cimarron OK). I yelped and jumped back, It zipped of into the bushes, rattling all the way. Did find county record Paddle-Tailed and Shadow Darners, as well as Great Spreadwing at the former locale. Two days later I was greeted in the morning, as usual, by Common Ravens at the motel in Raton. Had no luck finding Pacific Spiketail at Lake Dorothey SWA, but did turn up Emerald Spreadwings and Eight-Spotted Skimmers, the latter proving infuriatingly difficult to photograph, at least until I finally got a good shot or two, then they started popping up on weed stalks everywhere. The biggest surprise of the week was a county record Red-Veined Meadowhawk among the many Cherry-Faced Meadowhawks at Alamosa NWR. I was greeted Friday morning at the motel in Trinidad, not by a raven but by an impressive-looking Ten-Lined June Beetle. Saturday morning was robber fly day in Black Mesa State Park, with three species (not identified as of this writing) that I haven't seen before. Arrived home Saturday evening with 2001 miles on my trip odometer, planning on taking it relatively easy for a few weeks until I head out again for destination(s) unknown.

P.S. Also planning on resuming my iNat identification responsibilities, which I have been neglecting for the past week :)

Bill Carrell
Tulsa, OK

Lähetetty 12. elokuuta 2019 01:48 käyttäjältä arrowheadspiketail58 arrowheadspiketail58 | 7 havaintoa | 1 kommentti | Jätä kommentti

11. huhtikuuta 2019

A name change....sort of

Greetings iNat,

After three years with iNaturalist, it's time for a change. As spiketails are my favorite ode genus, choosing Corudlegaster obliqua (the second half of the binomial being the common species on Oklahoma) seemed like a cool idea. Over time however, it's started to appear a little clunky and awkward, so time for a change. I considered other scientific names (Tachopteryx thoreyi was a candidate), but in the end, being to lazy to change my profile picture, ArrowheadSpiketail58 it is.

Lähetetty 11. huhtikuuta 2019 23:12 käyttäjältä arrowheadspiketail58 arrowheadspiketail58 | 1 kommentti | Jätä kommentti

16. syyskuuta 2018

Traveling again, running behind again

Greetings All,
Just a short post to make excuses about my inability to keep up with submitting observations this week. Traveling in NM and AZ again, got off to a slow start but the last two days have been quite productive, so between traveling, checking into motels and processing photos I'm running about two days behind. A few highlights to look for in the next few days: Persephone's Darner in Cave Creek Canyon, actual photos of both male and female Giant Darners in Sabino Canyon, and Mayan Setwings in Bass Canyon.

Bill Carrell
Tulsa, OK

Lähetetty 16. syyskuuta 2018 04:37 käyttäjältä arrowheadspiketail58 arrowheadspiketail58 | 1 havainto | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

20. elokuuta 2017

Almost Home

Greetings from Black Mesa State Park, Cimarron County OK.

It's certainly been an interesting week, ready for the last leg of the journey tomorrow. Despite the fact that I carried a box of references on the trip, I've hardly had time to attempt ID'ing half of the observations. Thanks to everyone in the iNaturalist world who chipped in, especially @wild-about-texas , @tigerbb and @nlblock. I have many more to submit, but that will have to wait for a couple of days. Some of the highlights for me include two avian lifers, Five-Striped Sparrow and Rufous-Capped Warbler, an as yet undetermined number (still have some Argia species to sort out) of new odonates, two from my "most wanted" list, Filigree Skimmer and Malachite Darner, and a Gila Monster at Muleshoe Ranch in AZ.

A question for all of the iNat people: When you are traveling, do any of you do things like walking around the motel, rest area or whatever, checking around the lights to see what kinds of interesting creatures are being drawn in, or am I the only weirdo that does that?

Bill Carrell
Tulsa, OK

Lähetetty 20. elokuuta 2017 03:18 käyttäjältä arrowheadspiketail58 arrowheadspiketail58 | 5 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

13. elokuuta 2017

Off the Road, for the moment

After a driving through torrential downpours in western Oklahoma Thursday night, getting chased out of Albuquerque by a monsoon storm Friday afternoon, and another day of mostly driving (but no rain) on Saturday, I'm taking a break at Casitas de Gila in Grant county NM for a few days. Mostly looking for monsoon odes, but as usual, everything is fair game. Also planning a brief foray into Arizona in pursuit of a couple of avian rarities (and more odonates) before heading home. I managed to stop driving long enough today to pick up a couple of new odes, Painted Damsel and Serpent Ringtail, and maybe a new butterfly or two (along with a few roadside rest area moths on Friday). It's too late to start tonight, but I hope to begin posting some observations tomorrow, and maybe letting the car just sit where it is for at least one day.

Bill Carrell

Lähetetty 13. elokuuta 2017 04:05 käyttäjältä arrowheadspiketail58 arrowheadspiketail58 | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

1. lokakuuta 2016

BioBlitz! Oklahoma 2016

Greetings Everyone,

Currently in Marshall County, OK at the University of Oklahoma Biological Station and surrounding areas participating in Oklahoma BioBlitz 2016. I made the decision to only enter observations that have photo documentation into the iNaturalist database. I also decided not to stay up all night processing photos, so it will be two or three days before the all of the photos are added to the observations. Highlights so far include two new Tiger beetle species for the county, lot's of Carolina Metallic tiger beetles (and larva) along the lake edge after dark, White-Winged doves (now widespread and locally common in Oklahoma) , Neon and Roseate Skimmers. We've had a couple of down years numbers-wise, but the weather looks good for tomorrow, there's a good range of habitat, so with luck we can break the 1,000 species mark by 4:00 Saturday.

Bill Carrell

Lähetetty 1. lokakuuta 2016 04:01 käyttäjältä arrowheadspiketail58 arrowheadspiketail58 | 1 kommentti | Jätä kommentti

21. syyskuuta 2016

Not Lost, Just Traveling

Greeting, Everyone,

I'm running a little behind (actually, quite a lot behind) on submitting observations and ID's, not because I'm slacking, I've been on the road (NM, AZ, CA and back to OK) just returning home yesterday evening. I have a little bit of photo editing left to do, then I can get down to business, and a lot of it there is. I did manage to submit some records from the first day at Bosque del Apache NWR, a few of those are connected to this post. Did not find as many odonates as I had hoped, but did find some interesting stuff, a couple that I still need to key out. Also lot's of birds, especially hummingbirds (though I missed the Starthroat at Madera Canyon), lizards, and more mammals than I typically photograph. This includes marine mammals, but sorry, no whales or dolphins. Rather difficult to shoot from a moving boat.

I'm taking a short break, but BioBlitz Oklahoma 2016 is coming up 9/30-10/1 at the OU Biological Station on Lake Texoma, so back on the road again!


Bill Carrell
Tulsa, OK

Lähetetty 21. syyskuuta 2016 14:31 käyttäjältä arrowheadspiketail58 arrowheadspiketail58 | 4 havaintoa | 1 kommentti | Jätä kommentti