KSN - Vol 43, No 2 - Checklist of Kansas DragonfliesVolume 43, Number 2 - February 1997

Checklist of Kansas Dragonflies

by Roy J Beckemeyer and Donald G. Huggins

ABOUT THIS ISSUE

ISSN: 0022-877X

Published by EMPORIA STATE UNIVERSITY

Prepared and Issued by THE DIVISION OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

Editor: JOHN RICHARD SCHROCK

Editorial Committee: DAVID EDDS,TOM EDDY, GAYLEN NEUFELD

Editors Emeritus: ROBERT BOLES, ROBERT F. CLARK

Circulation and Mailing: ROGER FERGUSON

Circulation (this issue): 8,000

Press Run: 13,000

Compilation: John Decker

Printed by: ESU Printing Services

Online edition by: Terri Weast

The Kansas School Naturalist is sent free of charge and upon request to teachers, school administrators, public and school librarians, youth leaders, conservationists, and others interested in natural history and nature education. In-print back issues are sent free as long as supply lasts. Out-of-print back issues are sent for one dollar photocopy and postage/handling charge per issue. Aback issue list is sent free upon request. The Kansas School Naturalist is sent free by third class mail to all U.S. zipcodes, first class to Mexico and Canada, and surface mail overseas. Overseas subscribers who wish to receive it by airmail should remit US $5.00 per year (four issues) airmail and handling. The Kansas School Naturalist is edited and published by Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas. Editor: John Richard Schrock, Division of Biological Sciences. Third class postage paid at Emporia, Kansas. Address all correspondence to Kansas School Naturalist, Division of Biological Sciences, Box 4050,Emporia State University, Emporia, KS66801-5087.Opinions and perspectives expressed are those of the author(s) and/or editor and do not reflect the official position or endorsement of ESU.

Current knowledge of Kansas Odonata is based largely on the extensive work of the Snow Entomological Museum and of the Kansas Biological Survey. Personnel of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Wichita Parks Department, Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, and the Flint Hills National Wildlife Refuge kindly gave their permission to collect. Thanks to Ken Brunson, Nongame Coordinator with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks for underwriting some of the publication costs for this issue using Chickadee Checkoff funds. Thanks are also due to Dr. Sidney W. Dunkle of Collin Co. Community College, Plano, Texas for allowing the use of his extraordinary dragonfly photographs. Dr. Dunkle is preparing a field guide to the Odonata of North America, and has published a photographic guide to Florida dragonflies that contains photos of many of the species that occur in Kansas. Photos are acknowledged individually and were taken by Roy Beckemeyer or Sid Dunkle.

Cover photoCover Photo: No. S.AESHNIDAE: Anax junius, Common Green Darner. Pair in tandem with female ovipositing into vegetation. Note the wings which often become tattered late in the season. Photo by Roy Beckemeyer, Quivira NWR, Stafford Co., KS. Sept. 1996.

Publication and distribution of this issue was made possible by a grant from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.

Kansas School Naturalist is indexed in Wildlife Review/Fisheries Review; the text of this issue and of other KSNs is available at www.emporia.edu/s/www.biosci/ksn/public.htm.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Roy J. Beckemeyer (957 Perry St., Wichita, KS 67203-3141) has been a resident of Kansas for over 25 years. An aeronautical engineer by education, he has studied the taxonomy, distribution, biology and ecology of dragonflies and damselflies as a serious avocation for a number of years. He is also interested in the mechanics of flight in insects and birds.

Donald G. Huggins (The University of Kansas, 2041 Constant Ave., Lawrence, KS 66047-2906) is Senior Scientist and Director of the Ecotoxicology Program of the Kansas Biological Survey. His professional area of study is the taxonomy and ecology of aquatic invertebrates, with a focus on Odonata. Much of the knowledge of dragonflies in Kansas is based on his 20 years of work in the state.


CHECKLIST OF KANSAS DRAGONFLIES

by Roy J Beckemeyer and Donald G. Huggins

INTRODUCTION

Dragonflies are an integral part of the Kansas summer landscape, whether at the water where they mate and lay their eggs or in the sunny fields and pathways where they astonish us with their flying skills. Folk names such as "devil's darning needle" tend to keep us at arm's length from these lovely animals, but their savagery as insect predators belies their harmlessness to us. They can at worst deliver a mild pinch when held in the hand - and it is in the hand where the incomparable metallic sheen of the Illinois River Cruiser's emerald eyes or the bold black and white pattern of the Checkered Setwing can be best admired.

Dragonflies are aquatic for most of their lives, hatching from eggs laid in the water or in plant tissue. They live from one to three years in the water as nymphs and go through 10-12stages or "instars", molting their skin and growing larger each time. A unique feature of dragonfly nymphs is their hinged and hooked lower "lip", which can be extended beyond the head to seize prey. The mature nymph eventually climbs out of the water and, in a process that takes an hour or two, emerges as a winged adult. The new or "teneral" adult flies away from the water for a time, to mature and get ready for the short final phase of it's life: mating and egg laying.

Dragonfly males are the only insects that possess accessory genitalia (on the underside of the second abdominal segment) in addition to a genital opening on the ninth segment. Appendages on the tip of the male's abdomen are used to clasp the female by the thorax or the back of the head. The male then turns his abdomen under and deposits sperm into his secondary genitalia. The female brings the tip of her abdomen into contact with the male's second segment, forming the characteristic copulatory "wheel" or "heart" formation. In some species oviposition occurs in tandem, with the male still holding the female by the head. In other cases the female lays eggs alone, but may be guarded from other males by her mate.

Some dragonflies are able to physiologically control the temperature of their bodies by shunting the flow of haemolymph from head to thorax or abdomen. Others use perching location or style to behaviorally regulate temperature. Dragonflies are visually-oriented, with huge eyes that help them to track prey and find mates. They are also among the best insect fliers. Each wing is under direct muscular control which provides them with extreme maneuverability. They can hover and even fly backwards. Their ability to capture flying prey on the wing and to avoid predation by birds is impressive to watch. You will enjoy getting to know and appreciate these fascinating creatures.

No. 1 PETALURIDAE: Tachopteryx thoreyi, Gray Petaltail (Female) (SINC in KS). Photo by Sid Dunkle, FL.
No. 1 PETALURIDAE: Tachopteryx thoreyi, Gray Petaltail (Female) (SINC in KS).
Photo by Sid Dunkle, FL.
No. 2. AESHNIDAE: Aeshna constricta, Lance-tipped Darner (Male). Photo by Roy Beckemery, Ninnescah River, Sedgwick Co., KS, Oct. 1996.
No. 2. AESHNIDAE: Aeshna constricta, Lance-tipped Darner (Male).
Photo by Roy Beckemery, Ninnescah River, Sedgwick Co., KS, Oct. 1996.
No. 5 AESHNIDAE: Anax junius, Common Green Darner. Wings of male and nomenclature of Odonata wing venation and features.
No. 5 AESHNIDAE: Anax junius, Common Green Darner.
Wings of male and nomenclature of Odonata wing venation and features.

 

KEY TO LIVE DRAGONFLIES (ODONATA: ANISOPTERA) OF KANSAS

(Dragonflies are robust insects that can be netted, handled & released without damage. The key includes behavioral characters in addition to morphological ones, but it is recommended that you start out determining them in hand.)

1a. Slender-bodied; eyes farther apart than one diameter; wings held together over abdomen when perched (open slightly in one family); front and hind wings similar in shape; usually weak fliers; oviposit into plant tissue. Suborder ZYGOPTERA, (The Damselflies), not covered in this publication.
1b. Heavy-bodied;eyes closer together than one diameter (touching in most species); wings always held wide open when perched; hind wings much broader near base than fore wings; usually strong fliers; usually oviposit into water (one family oviposits into plant tissue). (2) Suborder ANISOPTERA, (The Dragonflies)

2a. Eyes widely separated on top of head.

(3)

2b. Eyes just touching or broadly meeting.

(4)

3a. Large gray and black dragonfly longer than 70mm; usually perches vertically on tree trunks; long, narrow, ribbon-like stigma; oviposits in wet leaves or mud in spring seeps.

PETALURIDAE, (The Petaltails), 1 KS species:
Tachopteryx thoreyi
(Gray Petal tail)

3b. Mostly green, gray, and/or brown with some black and yellow; end of abdomen enlarged in most species; usually perch horizontally on the ground or vegetation; do not swarm or oviposit in tandem.

GOMPHIDAE,
(The Clubtails),
18 KS species

4a. Eyes barely touching at a single point; , >70mmlong;black&yellow with two stripes on side of thorax and spear-shaped marks on top of abdomen; females with spike-like ovipositors that they thrust vertically into the substrate.

CORDULEGASTRIDAE
(The Spiketails), 1 KS species:
Cordulegaster obliqua
(Arrowhead Spiketail)

4b. Eyes in contact more broadly

(5)

5a. Triangles in fore and hind wings same distance from arculus; 2 thickened antenodal cross veins; large; abdomen brown or black spotted with blue and yellow or solid blue or red; oviposit into plant tissue; bladed ovipositors; perch by hanging vertically from vegetation; constant fliers; often swarm to feed; some species migrate in swarms.

AESHNIDAE, (The Darners),
9 KS species

5b. Triangle in hind wing closer to arculus than triangle in fore wing; no thickened antenodal cross veins; generally smaller; females oviposit into water.

(6)

6a. Anal loop of hind wing short, wide and rounded; robust; brown or black with a single yellow stripe around the thorax; eyes in contact on top of the head for a short distance; emerald green eyes as adults (but can mate before eyes become green); flyrelentlessly-often along roads to feed; males patrol territories along banks of streams or wave-swept shores; females oviposit by dragging abdomen tip in water while flying.

CORDUUIDAE: MACROMIINAE,
(The Cruisers),
4 KS species

6b. Anal loop elongate; comprising two rows of cells.

(7)

7a. Anal loop clubshaped on end but without a distinctive toe-shape; medium-sized, slender and dark; often with metallic iridescence on body and emerald green eyes; often difficult to see because they occur briefly or fly short periods during the day; fast, erratic flight; one genus crepuscular.

CORDUUIDAE: CORDULIINAE,
(The Emeralds),
9 KS species

7b. Anal loop foot-shaped and with distinctive toe; most common of the families; most often found around still waters; never with metallic colors; often with patterned wings; perchers that frequently alight on twigs and vegetation; intermittently glide while flying; females drop eggs into the water, ovipositing alone or in tandem.

LIBELLULIDAE,
(The Skimmers),
38 KS species

Rounded Anal Loop
No. 31. CORDULIIDAE: MACROMIINAE: Macromia illinoiensis, Illinois River Cruiser (Male). Base of hind wing.
Club-shaped Anal LoopNo. 37. CORDULIIDAE: CORDULIINAE: Epitheca princeps, Prince Baskettail (Male). Base of hind wing Foot-shaped Anal Loop
No. 60. LIBELLULIDAE: Libellula pulchella, Twelve-spotted Skimmer (Male). Base of hind wing.
ANNOTATED CHECKLIST OF KANSAS DRAGONFLIES

This list includes only those species for which one of the authors has seen an extant specimen. Some historical species for which material has been lost are thus not listed.

Entries are Comprised of: Genus species (Author), Date Species Was Described – Common Name (Ref. 22) / Abundance & Distribution / Probable Flight Dates / Habitat / [References, bold if ref. contains pictures]

Key to abbreviations: C = common; UC= uncommon; VC= very common; R = rare; SINC= Species in Need of Conservation; E = east; W = west; N = north; S = south; KS = Kansas

ODONATA (ANISOPTERA) - DRAGONFLIES - 80 SPECIES
PETALURIDAE - PETALTAILS -1 SPECIES
1. Tachopteryx thoreyi (Hagen in Selys) 1858 - Gray Petaltail / R. Listed as SINCin KS. One Record from Chautauqua Co. / June &July. / Nymphs in wooded hillside seeps. Adults in sunny openings. / [ 9, 14, 20, 21]

AESHNIDAE - DARNERS - 9 SPECIES
2. Aeshna constricta Say 1839 - Lance-tipped Darner / UC but statewide./ Sept. to Oct. Ponds, slow streams, open areas. Often flies at dusk. / [20, 21, 24]

3. Aeshna multicolor Hagen 1861 - Blue-eyed Darner / C, more numerous W but statewide. / May to Mid-Aug./ Often seen patrolling open fields. / [20, 21, 24]

4. Aeshna umbrosa Walker 1908 - Shadow Darner / C statewide. / Mid-Aug. to Mid-Oct. / Shaded places near small pools. / [14, 20, 21, 24]

5. Anax junius (Drury) 1770 - Common Green Darner / VC throughout state. / Late Apr. to Mid Oct. / Nearly all slow moving waters. Often in large numbers. Oviposit in tandem. [5, 9, 20, 21, 24]

6. Anax tongipes Hagen 1861 - Comet Darner / R. Recorded from Jefferson and Crawford Co's. / June to Early Sept. / Preference for fishless ponds. / [5, 9, 20, 21]

7. Basiaeshchna janata (Say) 1839 - Springtime Darner / C in SEKS./ Apr. to June. / Early season on streams & rivers. Often seen at dusk. / [14, 20, 21, 24]

8. Boyeria vinosa (Say) 1839 - Fawn Darner / R. Cherokee Co. in extreme SEKS./ May to Sept. / Large, shady streams & rivers. Flies at dusk. / [9, 14, 20, 21, 24]

9. Epiaeschna heros (Fabricius) 1798 - Swamp Darner / UC in E & SE./ May to Aug./ Shaded pools & slow streams. / [9, 20, 21, 24]

10. Nasiaeschna pentacantha (Rambur) 1842 - Cyrano Darner / C in E half of KS./ June &July / Streams & lake edges in wooded areas. / [9, 14, 20, 21, 24]

 

GOMPHIDAE - CLUBTAIlS - 18 SPECIES
11. Arigomphus lentulus (Needham) 1902 - Stillwater Clubtail / UC SE KS/ June to July / Farm ponds and lakes. / [20, 21]

12. Arigomphus submedianus (Williamson) 1914 - Jade Clubtail / C in E half. / May to July / Lakes & ponds./ [20, 21]

13. Dromogomphus spinosus Selys 1854 - Black-shouldered Spinyleg / C in SE KS./ June to Sept. / Streams & rivers, sometimes lakes. /[9, 14, 18, 20, 21, 24]

14. Dromogomphus spoliatus (Hagen in Selys) 1858 - Flag-tailed Spinyleg / C in SE third. / June to Sept. / Ponds, lakes & sometimes slow streams. / [18, 20, 21]

15. Erpetogomphus designatus Hagen in Selys 1858 - Eastern Ringtail / C statewide but more numerous to S. / July to Aug./ Rivers and streams. / [18, 20, 21]

16. Gomphus (Gomphurus) externus Hagen in Selys 1858 - Plains Clubtail / C throughout. / June to Aug./ Rivers & streams with muddy bottoms. / [18, 20, 21, 24]

No. 8. AESHNIDAE: Boyeria vinosa, Fawn Darner (Male). Photo by Sid Dunkle, TX.

No. 8. AESHNIDAE: Boyeria vinosa, Fawn Darner (Male).
Photo by Sid Dunkle, TX.
No. 17. GOMPHIDAE: Gomphus (Gomphurus) ozarkensis, Ozark Clubtail (Male). Photo by Sid Dunkle, AR.
No. 17. GOMPHIDAE: Gomphus (Gomphurus) ozarkensis, Ozark Clubtail (Male).
Photo by Sid Dunkle, AR.

No. 15. GOMPHIDAE: Erpetogomphus designatu, Eastern Ringtail (Male). Photo by Sid Dunkle, TX.

No. 15. GOMPHIDAE: Erpetogomphus designatu, Eastern Ringtail (Male).
Photo by Sid Dunkle, TX.

No. 20. GOMPHIDAE: Gomphus (Gomphus) militaris, Sulpher-tipped Clubtail (Male). Photo by Sid Dunkle, TX.

No. 20. GOMPHIDAE: Gomphus (Gomphus) militaris, Sulpher-tipped Clubtail (Male).
Photo by Sid Dunkle, TX.

No. 16. GOMPHIDAE: Gomphus (Gomphurus) externus, Plains Clubtail (Male). Photo by Roy Beckemeyer, Cowskin Creek, Sedgwick Co., KS, June 1996.

No. 16. GOMPHIDAE: Gomphus (Gomphurus) externus, Plains Clubtail (Male).
Photo by Roy Beckemeyer, Cowskin Creek, Sedgwick Co., KS, June 1996.

No. 24. GOMPHIDAE: Progomphus obscurus, Common Sanddragon (Pair in copula). Photo by Sid Dunkle, FL.

No. 24. GOMPHIDAE: Progomphus obscurus, Common Sanddragon (Pair in copula).
Photo by Sid Dunkle, FL.

No. 23. GOMPHIDAE: Ophiogomphus severus, Pale Snaketail (Male). Photo by Sid Dunkle, AL.

No. 23. GOMPHIDAE: Ophiogomphus severus, Pale Snaketail (Male).
Photo by Sid Dunkle, AL.

 No. 35. CORULIINAE: Epitheca cynosura, Common Baskettail (Male). Photo by Sid Dunkle, FL.

No. 35. CORULIINAE: Epitheca cynosura, Common Baskettail (Male).
Photo by Sid Dunkle, FL.

No. 29. CORDULEGASTRIDAE: Cordulegaster obliqua, Arrowhead Spiketail (Female). Photo by Sid Dunkle, TX.

No. 29. CORDULEGASTRIDAE: Cordulegaster obliqua, Arrowhead Spiketail (Female).
Photo by Sid Dunkle, TX.

No. 37. CORDULIINAE: Epitheca princeps, Prince Baskettail (Male). Photo by Roy Beckemeyer. Woodson Do. State Lake, KS, Aug. 1996.

No. 37. CORDULIINAE: Epitheca princeps, Prince Baskettail (Male).
Photo by Roy Beckemeyer. Woodson Do. State Lake, KS, Aug. 1996.

No. 30. MACROMIINAE: Didymops transversa, Stream Cruiser (Male). Photo by Roy Beckemeyer, NS, July 1996.

No. 30. MACROMIINAE: Didymops transversa, Stream Cruiser (Male).
Photo by Roy Beckemeyer, NS, July 1996.

No. 39. CORDULINAE: Neurocordulia zanthosoma, Orange Shadowdragon (Female). Photo by Sid Dunkle, TX. 

No. 39. CORDULINAE: Neurocordulia zanthosoma, Orange Shadowdragon (Female).
Photo by Sid Dunkle, TX.

 

17. Gomphus (Gomphurus) ozarkensis Westfall 1975 - Ozark Clubtail / UC in SE corner: Chautauqua, Cherokee & Wilson Co's. / April to June / Ozark streams & Caney River./ [13, 27]

18. Gomphus (Gomphurus) vastus Walsh 1862 - Cobra Clubtail / UC in SE KS./ May to early Aug./ Large streams & rivers. / [18, 20, 21, 24]

19. Gomphus (Gomphus) graslinellus Walsh 1862 - Pronghorn Clubtail / C in E half. / May to July / Ponds, lakes, slow streams. / [18, 20, 21, 24]

20. Gomphus (Gomphus) militaris Hagen in Selys 1858 - Sulpher-tipped Clubtail / C across state. / June to July / Ponds. / [18, 20, 21]

21. Hagenius brevistylus Selys 1854 - Dragonhunter / UC extreme SE corner. / June to Sept. / Clear streams. Nymphs in leaf packs. / [9, 14, 20, 21, 24]

22. Ophiogomphus rupinsulensis (Walsh) 1862 - Rusty Snaketail / R Cherokee Co. / May to June / Clear streams. / [6, 20, 21, 24] [Cook & Daigle, 1985 (Ref. 6) determined that Missouri and Arkansas specimens previously assigned to O. rupinsulensis were a new species, O. westfalli. This could be true as well of the Kansas specimens, but there was insufficient material available to us at this time to make a definitive assessment given the slight differences between the species descriptions.]

23. Ophiogomphus severus Hagen 1874 - Pale Snaketail / UC in extreme W tier of Co's. / July to Aug./ Rivers. / [20, 21, 24]

24. Progomphus obscurus (Rambur) 1842- Common Sanddragon / C & widespread. June to Aug./ Sandy rivers and streams. / [5, 9, 18, 20, 21]

25. Stylogomphus albistylus (Hagen in Selys) 1878 - Least Clubtail / R. Cherokee Co. / June &July / Clear streams with shallow rapids. / [14, 20, 21, 24]

26. Stylurus amnicola (Walsh) 1862 - Riverine Clubtail / R in NE KS./ June to July / Medium sized sand-bottomed rivers. / [14, 18, 20, 21, 24]

27. Stylurus intricatus (Hagen) 1858-Brimstone Clubtail / UC across KS./ June to Aug. / Sand/silt-bottomed, slow-moving rivers. / [18, 20, 21, 24]

28. Stylurus plagiatus (Selys) 1854 - Russett-tipped Clubtail / UC E half. / June to Aug. / Still areas of silt/sand-bottomed streams & rivers. / [9, 18, 20, 21, 24]

 

CORDULEGASTRIDAE - SPIKETAILS -1 SPECIES
29. Cordulegaster obliqua (Say) 1839-Arrowhead Spiketail / R (elusive), Montgomery &Chautauqua Co's. / May to July / Small woodland streams &spring runs. / [9, 14, 18, 20, 21, 24]

 

CORDULIIDAE (MACROMIINAE) - CRUISERS - 4 SPECIES
30. Didymops transversa (Say) 1839- Stream Cruiser / UC in E KS/ Apr. to July / Rivers and lakes / [5, 9, 20, 21, 26]

31. Macromia illinoiensis Walsh 1862 - Illinois River Cruiser / C in E KS/ May to Sept. / Rivers and creeks. / [5, 9, 14, 18, 20, 21, 26] [Donnelly & Tennessen, 1994 (Ref. 8) assigned M. georgina as a subspecies of illinoiensis.]

32. Macromia pacifica Hagen 1861- Gilded River Cruiser / UC in E half of KS/ July to Aug. / Creeks. / [18, 20, 21]

33. Macromia taeniolata Rambur 1842 -Royal River Cruiser / R. in E KS / May to Aug. / Rivers & lakes. / [9, 14, 20, 21]

 

CORDULIIDAE (CORDULIINAE) - EMERALDS - 9 SPECIES
34. Epitheca costalis Muttkowski 1911 - Stripe-winged Baskettail / UC E KS / Apr. to June / Ponds & lakes / [9, 20, 21]

35. Epitheca cynosura (Say) 1839 - Common Baskettail / UC statewide / Apr. to June / Lakes & ponds / [5, 9, 20, 21, 26]

36. Epitheca petechialis Muttkowski 1911- Dot-winged Baskettail / UC in W KS / Apr. to June / Lakes & ponds. / [18, 20, 21]

37. Epitheca princeps (Hagen) 1861 - Prince Baskettail / C & widespread in E 2/3 of KS / May to Aug. / Lentic habitats. Patrolling flights. / [5, 9, 20, 21, 26]

38. Neurocordulia molesta (Walsh) 1863 - Smoky Shadowdragon / UC in E 1/3 of KS / June to July I Large & medium-sized rivers. Crepuscular flier. / [20, 21]

39. Neurocordulia xanthosoma (Williamson) 1908 - Orange Shadowdragon / UC in E 1/3 of KS / June to Aug. / Streams & rivers. Crepuscular. / [18, 20, 21]

40. Somatochlora linearis (Hagen) 1861 - Mocha Emerald / UC in E 1/3 of KS / June to Aug./ Shaded streams. / [9, 14, 20, 21, 26]

41. Somatochlora ozarkensis Bird 1933 - Ozark Emerald / R. SINC in KS. Record from Woodson Co. is only one from outside Ozark Plateau. / June / Woodland streams. / [20, 21]

42. Somatochlora tenebrosa (Say) 1839 - Clamp-tipped Emerald / R. One site in Chautauqua Co. / July / Woodland spring run. / [5, 14, 20, 21, 26]

 

LIBELLULIDAE - SKIMMERS - 38 SPECIES
43. Brechmorhoga mendax (Hagen) 1861 - Pale-faced Clubskimmer / R. One record from Sedgwick Co. / May to June / Fly beats along rivers. / [20, 21]

44. Celithemis elisa (Hagen) 1861 - Calico Pennant / C in E KS / May to Sept. / Ponds. Red & brown with brown spotted wings. / [5, 9, 20, 21, 26]

45. Celithemis eponina (Drury) 1773 - Halloween Pennant / C statewide, more numerous in E / June - Sept. / Ponds, lakes. / [5, 9, 20, 21, 26]

46. Celithemis fasciata Kirby 1889 - Banded Pennant / UC in SE KS - Crawford & Woodson Co's. / June to Aug. / Ponds & lakes. / [9, 20, 21]

47. Celithemis verna Pritchard 1935 - Double-ringed Pennant / R in SE KS - One site in Crawford Co. / Apr. to Aug. / Ponds, lakes. / [9, 21]

48. Dythemis fugax Hagen 1861 - Checkered Setwing / UC in S tier of Co's. / June to Aug. / Sand bottomed rivers & ponds. / [20, 21]

49. Dythemis velox Hagen 1861 - Swift Setwing / UC in SE KS - Crawford Co. / June to Sept. / Ponds, lakes, slow streams. / [20, 21]

50. Erythemis simplicicollis (Say) 1839 - Eastern Pondhawk / VC statewide / May to Sept. / Nearly any still waters. / [5, 9, 14, 20, 21, 26]


Photo identifies parts of dragonfly anatomy

No. 31. MACROMIINAE: Macromia illinoiensis, Illnois River Cruiser (Male).
Photo by Roy Beckemyer, Ninnescah River, Sedgwick Co., KS, Aug. 1996.


51. Leucorrhinia intacta (Hagen) 1861 - Dot-tailed Whiteface / R. Cheyenne & Wallace Co's. in extreme NW KS / June / Spring-fed ponds. / [5, 20, 21, 26]

52. Libellula comanche Calvert 1907 - Comanche Skimmer / R. SW KS - Meade Co. / June to Aug / Rivers. / [20, 21]

53. Libellula composita (Hagen) 1873 - Bleached Skimmer / R. SW KS - Meade Co. / May to July / Rivers. / [20, 21]

54. Libellula cyanea Fabricius 1775 - Spangled Skimmer / UC SE corner of KS / May to Sept. / Ponds & Lakes. / [20, 21]

55. Libellula deplanata Rambur 1842 - Blue Corporal / R. SE corner of KS. One record in Cherokee Co. / Apr. to May / Ponds. / [20, 21]

56. Libellula flavida Rambur 1842 - Yellow-sided Skimmer / R. SE KS. One record from Chautauqua Co. / June to July / Wooded spring run. / [20, 21]

57. Libellula incesta Hagen 1861 - Slaty Skimmer / UC in SE KS / June to Aug. / Ponds. / [5, 9, 20, 21, 26]

58. Libellula luctuosa Burmeister 1839 - Widow Skimmer / VC statewide / June to Sept. / Nearly everywhere. / [14, 20, 21, 26]

59. Libellula Lydia Drury 1770 - Common Whitetail / VC statewide / Apr. to Oct. / Nearly everywhere. / [5, 9, 14, 20, 21, 26]

60. Libellula pulchella Drury 1773 - Twelve-spotted Skimmer / VC statewide / May to Sept. / Nearly everywhere. / [5, 20, 21, 26]

61. Libellula saturata Uhler 1857 - Flame Skimmer / R. One record from Morton Co. in SW KS / June to Aug. / Still water & pools of rivers. / [20, 21]

62. Libellula semifasciata Burmeister 1839 - Painted Skimmer / R. One record, Crawford Co., SE / Apr. to July / Ponds, slow streams. / [5, 9, 20, 21, 26]

63. Libellula subornata (Hagen) 1861 - Desert Whitetail / UC in W 1/2 of KS / June to July / Marshes & pools. / [20, 21]

64. Libellula vibrans Fabricius 1798 - Great Blue Skimmer / UC in SE KS / June to Aug. / River pools. / [9, 20, 21, 26]

65. Orthemis ferruginea (Fabricius) 1775 - Roseate Skimmer / R. One record in Osage Co. / June to July / Ponds, temporary pools. / [9, 20, 21]

66. Pachydiplax longipennis (Burmeister) 1839 - Blue Dasher / VC statewide / May to Sept. / Still waters. / [5, 9, 14, 20, 21, 26]

67. Pantala flavescens (Fabricius) 1798 - Wandering Glider / C statewide / June to Sept. / Open, still waters. / [5, 9, 14, 20, 21, 26]

68. Pantala hymenaea (Say) 1839 - Spot-winged Glider / C statewide/ May to Sept./ Open, still waters. / [9, 14, 20, 21, 26]

69. Perithemis tenera (Say) 1839 - Eastern Amberwing / C statewide / May to Sept. / Ponds, lakes, slow streams. / [5, 9, 20, 21, 26]

70. Sympetrum ambiguum (Rambur) 1842 - Blue-faced Meadowhawk / UC E 1/2 of KS / Late June to Oct. / Temporary & permanent ponds. / [9, 20, 21, 26]

71. Sympetrum corruptum (Hagen) 1861 -Variegated Meadowhawk / C statewide / Apr. to Oct. but most numerous in fall / Ponds. / [9, 14, 20, 21, 26]

72. Sympetrum costiferum (Hagen) 1861 - Saffron-winged Meadowhawk / UC across state, mostly N half / July to Oct. / Weedy ponds & marshes. / [20, 21, 26]

73. Sympetrum internum Montgomery 1943 - Cherry-faced Meadowhawk / UC across state, most numerous in N / July to Sept. / Weedy ponds. / [20, 21, 26]

74. Sympetrum obtrusum (Hagen) 1867 - White-faced Meadowhawk / UC in N 1/2 of KS / Aug. to Oct. / Ponds. / [14, 20, 21, 26]

75. Sympetrum occidentale fasciatum Walker 1951 - Western Meadowhawk / C in W 3/4 of KS/ June to Oct./ Weedy ponds./ [20, 21]

76. Sympetrum rubicundulum (Say) 1839 - Ruby Meadowhawk / UC across state / July to Sept. / Ponds. / [5, 14, 20, 21, 26]

77. Sympetrum vicinum (Hagen) 1861 - Yellow-legged Meadowhawk / C across state / July to Oct. / Weedy ponds. / [5, 14, 20, 21, 26]

78. Tramea carolina (Linnaeus) 1763 - Carolina Saddlebags / UC in SE KS – Crawford Co. / May to Oct. / Lentic waters, hawks in open areas. / [5, 9, 20, 21]

79. Tramea lacerata Hagen 1861 - Black Saddlebags / C statewide / June to Oct. / Lentic waters. / [9, 20, 21, 26]

80. Tramea onusta Hagen 1861 - Red-mantled Saddlebags / C across KS except NW corner / June to Sept. / Lentic waters. / [9, 20, 21, 26]

No. 50. LIBELLULIDAE: Erythemis simplicicolis, Eastern Pondhawk (Female). Photo by Roy Beckemeyer, Quivira NWR, Stafford Co., KS, Sept. 1996.

No. 50. LIBELLULIDAE: Erythemis simplicicolis, Eastern Pondhawk (Female).
Photo by Roy Beckemeyer, Quivira NWR, Stafford Co., KS, Sept. 1996.

No. 66. LIBELLULIDAE: Pachydiplax longipennis, Blue Dasher (Male). Photo by Roy Beckemeyer, Botanica Gardens, Wichita, Sedgwick Co., KS, Aug. 1996. 

No. 66. LIBELLULIDAE: Pachydiplax longipennis, Blue Dasher (Male).
Photo by Roy Beckemeyer, Botanica Gardens, Wichita, Sedgwick Co., KS, Aug. 1996.

No. 45. LIBELLULIDAE: Celithemis eponina, Haloween Pennant (Female).
Photo by Sid Dunkle, FL.

No. 58. LIBELLULIDAE: Libellula luctuosa, Widow Skimmer (Male).
Photo by Roy Beckemeyer, Stafford Do., KS, July 1994.

No. 60. LIBELLULIDAE: Libellula pulchella, Twelve-spotted Skimmer (Male).
Photo by Roy Beckemeyer. Sedgwick Co., KS, July 1996.

No. 48. LIBELLULIDAE: Dythemis fugax, Checkered Setwing (Female).
Photo by Roy Beckemeyer, Sedgwick Co., KS, July 1996.

No. 59. LIBELLULIDAE: Libellula lydia, Common Whitetail (Male).
Photo by Roy Beckemery, Woodson Co., KS, Aug. 1996.

No. 79. LIBELLULIDAE: Tramea lacerata, Black Saddlebags (Female).
Photo by Sid Dunkle, FL.

 

STUDYING DRAGONFLIES

Many of us notice the nymphal skins clinging to tree trunks when Cicadas emerge; those who haunt the shores of pond, lake and stream in spring and summer will similarly see the abandoned skins, or exuviae, of dragonflies. A good project would be to regularly collect all exuviae from a certain area. Keep records of how many are found and how far they are from the water. If you find dragonflies emerging, watch the process and time the events. After emergence, carefully place the exuviae and new adult into a brown paper bag so that the fragile teneral can sit quietly and harden its skin. You will then be able to associate the immature and adult forms. References 14 & 15 contain keys for dragonfly nymphs, and 20, 21, 24 & 26 contain keys for adults.

Dragonfly behavior is complex and interesting, but the life histories of most species are undocumented. You could make a real contribution to our understanding of them by careful observation and record-keeping. An excellent reference to dragonfly biology is P.L. Miller's "Dragonflies" (Ref. 19).

Sadly, dragonflies when preserved lose some of the delightful colors that make them so attractive; this is particularly true of the eyes. Ifyou decide to collect them, note the colors and keep these notes with the specimens. For best color preservation, keep specimens alive until ready for processing. Soaking the specimens in acetone for 12-24 hours seems to produce the most consistent results. Dragonflies may be pinned, but tend to be fragile, so most collectors dry them with the wings folded together over the back and keep them in clear envelopes with a 3 x 5 card for reinforcement. The card is also a convenient place to write your data on color and on the date and place of collection. You could add to the knowledge of dragonfly distribution in Kansas by keeping a well-documented collection *. For more information on insect collecting see References 9 & 10. (Note that the Kansas "Species In Need of Conservation", T thoreyi and S. ozarkensis, cannot be collected in the state without a special permit (from the Kansas Dept. of Wildlife and Parks.)

*[Much remains to be learned about the Kansas Odonata. Since the last published summary of Kansas fauna in 1983(Ref. 12), 8 species have been added: No. 17 (Ref. 13) in 1985, No's. 1, 25, and 52 in 1988 (Ref. 17), and No. 43 this year (Ref. 4). In addition, voucher specimens received from Mr. Ragan Todd of Pitts burg, KS as this list was in preparation allowed us to document three more additions to the state list (No's. 47, 49 & 78), as well as to extend the range of No. 6 to include Crawford Co. Other species, including some that have been recorded for NE, OK, MO, and CO, may very well await collection by the thorough and persistent KS collector.]

REFERENCES

1. Allison, V.C., 1921, "Some dragon flies of southeastern Kansas", Kansas Acad. Sci. 30:45-58

2. Banks. N., 1894, ".On a collection of neuropteroid insects from Kansas", Ent. News 4:178-180

3. Beckemeyer, RJ., 1995, "Some county records for Kansas and Oklahoma", Argia: The news journal of the Dragonfly Society of the Americas 7(3):28-29

4. Beckemeyer, RJ., 1996, "First record of Brechmorhoga mendax from Kansas", Argia: The news journal of the Dragonfly Society of the Americas 8(2):29-30

5. Carpenter, V., 1991, Dragonflies and damselflies of Cape Cod, Cape Cod Mus. Nat. Hist. Series, No.4, Brewster, MA

6. Cook, C., & J.J. Daigle, 1985, “Ophiogomphus westfalli spec. nov. from the Ozark region of Arkansas and Missouri, with a key to the Ophiogomphus species of eastern North America (Anisoptera: Gomphidae)”, Odonatologica 14(2):89-99

7. Cringan, M.S., 1978, "Dragonflies and damselflies of McKinney Marsh", The Emporia State University Research Studies XXVII(3):1-28

8. T.W. Donnelly and K.J. Tennessen, 1994, "Macromia illinoiensis and georgina: A Study of Their Variation and Apparent Subspecific Relationship (Odonata: Corduliidae)". Bull. of American Odonatology 2(3):27-61

9. Dunkle, S.W., 1989, Dragonflies of the Florida peninsula, Bermuda, and the Bahamas, Scientific Publishers Nature Guide No.1, Gainesville, FL

10. Edmonds, W.T., 1976, Collecting and preserving Kansas invertebrates, Tech. Pub. No. 14 of the State Biol. Surv. of Kansas

11. Huggins, D.G., 1978, "Additional Records of Kansas Odonata", in New Records of the Flora and Fauna of Kansas for 1977, Tech. Publ. of the State Biol. Surv. of Kansas 6:1-35

12. Huggins, D.G., 1983, "New Records of Odonata", in New Records of the Fauna and Flora of Kansas for 1982, Tech. Publ. of the State Biol. Surv. of Kansas 13:24-25

13. Huggins, D. G., and G.L. Harp, 1985, "The Nymph of Gomphus (Gomphurus) ozarkensis Westfall (Odonata: Gomphidae)", J. Ks. Entomol. Soc. 58(4):656-661

14. Huggins, D.G., & W.U. Brigham, 1982, "Odonata", Chapter 14 in Aquatic Insects and Oligochaetes of North and South Carolina, ed. by W.U. Brigham & A. Gnilka, Midwest Aquatic Enterprises, Mahomet, IL

15. Huggins, D.G., P.M. Liechti, & L.C. Ferrington, 1985, Guide to the freshwater invertebrates of the Midwest, 2nd Edition, Tech. Pub. No. 11 of the State Biol. Surv. of Kansas.

16. Huggins, D.G., P.M. Liechti, and DW. Roubik, 1976, "Species Accounts for Certain Aquatic Macroinvertebrates from Kansas (Odonata, Hemiptera, Coleoptera and Sphaeriidae)", in New Records of the Fauna and Flora of Kansas for 1975, Tech. Publ. of the State Biol. Surv. of Kansas 1:13-77

17. Huggins, D.G., and M.F. Moffett, 1988, Proposed Biotic and Habitat Indices for Use in Kansas Streams, Rept. No. 35 of the Kansas Biological Survey

18. Kennedy, C.H. 1917, "The Dragonflies of Kansas", Univ. KS Dept. Ent. Bull. 11:129-145

19. Miller, P.L., 1987, Dragonflies, Naturalists' Handbook 7, Cambridge University Press

20. Needham, J.G., & H.B. Heywood, 1929, A handbook of the dragonflies of North America, Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, IL

21. Needham, J.G., & M.J. Westfall, Jr., 1954, A manual of the dragonflies of North America (Anisoptera): Including the Greater Antilles and the Provinces of the Mexican border, Univ. of Calif. Press, Berkeley, CA

22. Paulson, D.R., & S.W. Dunkle, 1996, "Common names of North American dragonflies and damselflies, adopted by the Dragonfly Society of the Americas," Argia; The news journal of the Dragonfly Society of the Americas 8(2):(Supplement)

23. Tucker, 1907, "Some results of desultatory collections of insects of Colorado and Kansas", Univ. Ks. Sci. Bull. (Odonata) 4:78 79

24. Walker, E.M., 1958, The Odonata of Canada and Alaska. Part 3. The Anisoptera - Four Families. Vol. II, University of Toronto Press

25. Walker, E.M., 1966, "On the generic status of Tetragoneuria and Epicordulia”, Can. Entomol. 98;897-902

26. Walker, E.M., & P.S. Corbet, 1973, The Odonata of Canada and Alaska. Part 4. The Anisoptera - Three Families. Vol. III, University of Toronto Press

27. Westfall, M.J., Jr., 1975, "A new species of Gomphus from Arkansas (Odonata: Gomphidae)", Fl. Entomol. 58(2):91-95

No. 75. LIBELLULIDAE: Sympetrum occidentale fasciatum, Western Meadowhawk (Pair in tandem). Photo by Roy Beckemyer, Scott Co. State Lake, KS, Oct. 1994.

No. 75. LIBELLULIDAE: Sympetrum occidentale fasciatum, Western Meadowhawk (Pair in tandem).
Photo by Roy Beckemyer, Scott Co. State Lake, KS, Oct. 1994.

No. 69. LIBELLULIDAE: Perithemis tenera, Eastern Amberwing (Male). Photo by Roy Beckemeyer, Botanica Gardens, Wichita, Sedgwick Co., KS, Aug 1996.

No. 69. LIBELLULIDAE: Perithemis tenera, Eastern Amberwing (Male).
Photo by Roy Beckemeyer, Botanica Gardens, Wichita, Sedgwick Co., KS, Aug 1996.

No. 59. LIBELLULIDAE: Libellula lydia, Common Whitetail. Male having lunch. Photo by Roy Beckemeyer, Woodson Co. State Lake, KS, Aug. 1996.

No. 59. LIBELLULIDAE: Libellula lydia, Common Whitetail. Male having lunch.
Photo by Roy Beckemeyer, Woodson Co. State Lake, KS, Aug. 1996.

 


The Kansas School Naturalist Department of Biology 
  College of Liberal Arts & Sciences 
Send questions / comments to
Kansas School Naturalist.
 Emporia State University