If found this dragonfly encased in dew a couple weeks ago as I walked through a small prairie here in Aurora. I’m sure someone reading this will be able to tell me what species it is – I don’t know my dragonflies very well.
There were a couple of these in the prairie that morning, but we’ve also been seeing some bigger groups (flocks? herds? swarms?) of other dragonfly species coming through Nebraska lately on their annual migrations. Many more insect species migrate than you might expect, including (at least) moths, butterflies, and dragonflies. I expect we’ll learn a tremendous amount about these phenomena during the next decade as efforts to study those migrations continue to ramp up. Technology, including tiny radio transmitters, will help, as will volunteer citizen science efforts to gather sightings from across large areas. It will be exciting to learn more about what seems an improbable but very interesting behavior from insects we don’t give nearly enough credit to.
Finally, if you are interested in nature photography or prairie ecology and are within driving distance of Lincoln, you might enjoy the lecture I’m giving tomorrow night for the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum. More information on the event and ticket information is available here.