Calvert County Dragonflies and Damselflies: Part Eleven – Pondhawk/Dragonlets/Corporal Dragonflies of the Family Libellulidae

Family: Libellulidae (Pondhawk/Dragonlets/Corporal)

Due to the large number of species present for this family, I will continue to break down this family into smaller segments. This particular grouping is composed of a variety of dragonfly types.

Three of the four species listed below can be found in all three southern Maryland counties according to Richard Orr’s database. The S1 - Critically Imperiled / Highly State Rare Little Blue Dragonlet is only known from Calvert and Charles Counties and is currently lacking any southern Maryland iNaturalist observations. Both the Eastern Pondhawk and Blue Corporal dragonflies are represented in the iNaturalist database for each of the three southern Maryland counties. For this group, I have made a small contribution to the Calvert County iNaturalist database: seventeen of the 59 Eastern Pondhawk observations and one of the eight observations for the Seaside Dragonlet.

Listed below are the species within this group that have been observed in at least one of the southern Maryland counties and a comparison of the two databases is made (as of February, 2020). As was done with the previous family, I have included notes extracted from the book “Natural History of DelMarVa Dragonflies and Damselflies” by Hal White (reference 1). Of particular relevance for Calvert County, I have also included information on the three species of this group that were observed at the Cove Point LNG Property and reported in “2011-2012 Survey of the Dragonflies and Damseflies (Odonata) of the Cove Point LNG Property (Calvert County, Maryland” by Richard Orr (reference 2).

Eastern (Common) Pondhawk/Erythemis simplicicollis
This is one of our most common and widespread dragonflies. It is a formidable predator that has a preference for larger prey including large flies, butterflies, and even other dragonflies. (1)
Cove Point adult abundance and flight period – abundant/05-May to 30-Sept. (2)
iNaturalist research grade observations:​ Calvert = 59 (May-Oct)​ St. Marys = 9 (May-Sep) Charles = 11 (May-Sep)
MD Biodiversity (i.e., Richard Orr):​ Calvert – present St. Marys – present​ Charles - present

Seaside Dragonlet/Erythrodiplax berenice
This is the only truly marine dragonfly in the world in that its larvae can live in seawater. (1)
Cove Point adult abundance and flight period – uncommon/24-May to 11-Sept. (2)
iNaturalist research grade observations:​ Calvert = 8 (Jun-Jul) St. Marys = 3 (Jun-Aug) Charles = 0
MD Biodiversity (i.e., Richard Orr):​ Calvert – present St. Marys – present Charles - present

Little Blue Dragonlet /Erythrodiplax minuscula
S1 - Critically Imperiled / Highly State Rare (see below for definition)
The first documented occurrence on the DelMarVa peninsula of this Maryland rarity did not occur until July, 2009. (1)
iNaturalist research grade observations:​ Calvert = 0 St. Marys = 0​ Charles = 0
MD Biodiversity (i.e., Richard Orr):​ Calvert – present St. Marys – X Charles - present

Blue Corporal/Ladona deplanata
This dragonfly is one of the earliest dragonflies to emerge in the spring. (1)
Cove Point adult abundance and flight period – abundant/01-Apr to 21-May. (2)
iNaturalist research grade observations:​ Calvert = 2 (Apr-May) St. Marys = 1 (Apr) Charles = 5 (Apr-Jun)
MD Biodiversity (i.e., Richard Orr):​ Calvert – present St. Marys – present​ Charles - present

Definitions from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources “List of Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Animals of Maryland”:
S1 - Critically Imperiled / Highly State Rare — At very high risk of extinction or extirpation due to very restricted range, very few populations or occurrences, very steep declines, very severe threats, or other factors. Typically occurring in five or fewer populations.

Publicado por rosalie-rick rosalie-rick, 03 de marzo de 2020

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