10 November 2012

Hangers On...

Sympetrum vicinum om 11/09/2011

I was out at Pittsfield Preserve in Washtenaw Co.  yesterday around 1 pm, and the temperature was about 53°F, but sunny.  Lo and behold, a male Autumn Meadowhawk (Sympetrum vicinum) was warming itself on the packed dirt path ahead of me.  Some years, we have records of these as late as December, if there has been no really hard frost or several days of below-freezing temps.  Autumn Meadowhawk is a good name for this species that lingers into the gray days of November, only to alight in front of us on a sunny day -- a dash of red on a sea of tans and browns.
I know we get all fired up about early records, but of course, late records are just as important.  It would interesting to know just how late this species was 50 years ago in SE Michigan.

24 July 2012

"I" counties and a look at "effort"

I have slowly been compiling the separate county lists, using the data that we have up to 2011. It's been an interesting exercise, as it shows how paltry our Odonata records are for some counties. As a case in point, let's look at the five counties that start with the letter I. I could have used other letters, but I just finished with these, and besides, I would love someone to get more records for Ionia. The five counties - Ingham, Ionia, Isabella, Iosco, and Iron range from central Michigan to above the Saginaw Bay, and over to the western UP. The species counts are shown in the map below. Iron Co., which is in the SW UP, has 69 species recorded for it, whereas Ionia, not far from Grand Rapids, has...19. Nineteen species? I can find that many on a good day in Washtenaw. So, it's someboody's turn to be a "hero" and spend a day collecting in Ionia Co. Think of all the county records that you may possibly accumulate. Isabella Co. is hardly better, and the count for Ingham and Iosco is a mediocre 60. That's actually not bad, but to make an example, Benzie Co. has had a fair amount of collecting from Carl Freeman, and there are 93 species recorded from there. Sometimes, it's amazing what is NOT on a list of species from a county. Common species, such as the baskettails (Epitheca spp.), many skimmers (Libellulidae), and many common damselflies are not listed from a lot of counties. When I am done with this field season, I will go back and do a map with the species numbers for each county shown. Hopefully, we will have made some progress over tha past year. You can take a look at the species lists at the MOA Downloads page.

Example list for Ionia County:
Calopteryx aequabilis Say
Calopteryx maculata (Beauvois)
Amphiagrion saucium (Burmeister)
Argia moesta (Hagen)
Enallagma exsulans (Hagen)
Enallagma vesperum Calvert
Ischnura posita (Hagen)
Ischnura verticalis (Say)
Anax junius (Drury)
Basiaeschna janata (Say)
Dromogomphus spinosus Selys
Gomphus fraternus (Say)
Ophiogomphus rupinsulensis (Walsh)
Macromia illinoiensis Walsh
Celithemis eponina (Drury)
Leucorrhinia intacta (Hagen)
Libellula luctuosa Burmeister

--Pretty easy to add some good records, I bet. Of course we know that a lot of species are going to be found in most of the counties. However, that's not the same as having vouchers, and it's a lot of fun being the first to document a species for a particular county. So, we have a few months left in the season, plenty of time for skimmers, darners, and wandering gliders, etc.

18 July 2012

Rare and uncommon saddlebags, wandering meadowhawks, and gliders galore

This is an excellent year for several uncommon or rare species in the upper Great Lakes and northeastern states, and an opportunity for getting plenty of new county records. Three of the species -- Red and Striped Saddlebags and Variegated Meadowhawk -- are pretty much considered vagrants from the south or west in Michigan. Often their extra-limital movements are triggered by environmental conditions, especially drought. Specimens are extremely valuable in tracking range expansions, as well as for molecular research that can determine source populations, colonization histories, and other important characteristics of their population ecology. For more background on the value of voucher specimens, see this post on our record of Striped Saddlebags for Michigan.

Carolina Saddlebags and Spot-winged Glider are much more common, although more so in some years than others. However, all the Trameas and Pantalas can be pretty tough to net due to their habit of flying continuously over water and/or up high. Thus, they are under-represented in the MOS collection.

Here's what we're looking for:

Red Saddlebags, Wayne County. Photo by Julie Craves. Map of MOS voucher specimens through 2011.

Red Saddlebags (Tramea onusta). As of the end of 2011, this species has only been collected in four Michigan counties. They are making a strong movement north this year, with sightings well into Canada. Red Saddlebags are smaller than the abundant Black Saddlebags (T. lacerata) and Carolina Saddlebags. They differ from Carolinas in lacking a purple frons; having less black on s8 and s9, usually restricted to the top of the sections and not extending down the sides; and having a larger clear "window" in the base of the wings.  Males also have larger hamules. Here is a side-by-side from the Iowa odes website.

Carolina Saddlebags, Wayne County. Photo by Julie Craves. Map of MOS voucher specimens through 2011.
Carolina Saddlebags (Tramea carolina). If you have some trouble distinguishing red-colored saddlebags, don't despair. If you can catch them, we can use them. Carolina Saddlebags is present in the southern counties pretty much annually, but every few years can be very numerous. This is one of those years. With fewer than a dozen counties being represented by vouchers, we can surely fill in much of the southern part of the state, at least, in 2012.

Striped Saddlebags, Wayne County. Photo by Julie Craves.

Striped Saddlebags (Tramea calverti). The only record in Michigan of this species is from Wayne County in 2010. That year saw an unprecedented northern invasion of this southern species. This year is shaping up to be another great year. In June, there were photographic records of Striped Saddlebags for Minnesota and Wisconsin, and in early July they were photographed in northern Ohio (none of these records indicated vouchers were taken -- remarkably, of the dozens reported the last few years in northern states, the two specimens we took in 2010 are the only vouchers that I know of).

Spot-winged Glider, Wayne County. Photo by Julie Craves. Map of MOS voucher specimens through 2011.

Spot-winged Glider (Pantala hymenaea). While not as common as Wandering Glider (P. flavescens), this species is not rare in Michigan. As is evident by the map, it is clearly widespread, but really under-represented by specimens. Vouchers are needed to accurately show the distribution in the state. Here are some ID tips from the Migratory Dragonfly Partnership.

Speaking of Wandering Glider, although it is one of the more common species, voucher specimens are also missing from many counties. Fill in the blanks!

Variegated Meadowhawk, Alger County. Photo by Mark O'Brien. Map of MOS voucher specimens through 2011.

Variegated Meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum). This is another hit-or-miss species in Michigan. They aren't anywhere near as hard to catch as the Trameas or Pantalas, since they tend to stay near and perch in waist-high vegetation. They are more common in the western U.S. and Great Plains, but tend to wander and are strongly migratory. When we found them in Wayne County in 2006 (after last being collected in 1931), they were emerging from tire ruts in a wet field in June, so presumably they can also breed and overwinter here. The map indicates they can show up anywhere, so be on the lookout. Here are some ID tips from the Migratory Dragonfly Partnership.

16 July 2012

Ebony Jewelwings -- only 2 counties to go

The MOS is missing specimens for Ebony Jewelwings (Calopteryx maculata) from just two Michigan counties: Bay and Charlevoix.

Go get'em -- and make this the first species to be collected in all 83 Michigan counties! See Mark's post on Michigan Odonotes. sex is where you find it
♂ and ♀ Calopteryx maculata in copula. Photo by Mark O'Brien, all rights reserved.

13 June 2012

"The cat ate my county record"

Jeff Sommer is one of the newest and most productive contributors to the MOS. He collects primarily in the Saginaw Bay region. Jeff is an archeologist, and has unearthed and contributed many new and significant records in the last couple of years.

Recently, he scored a good one: a recently emerged Common Sanddragon (Progomphus obscurus) on a turbulent stretch of the Shiawassee River. There are fewer than 50 adult records of this species in the MOS database. Because the individual was still very soft bodied, he placed it in a covered aquarium when he returned home to let it harden up before he dispatched it in acetone for curation (very teneral specimens have dull coloration and tend to "implode" if placed in acetone too soon).

Jeff briefly left the room, only to return to find the aquarium on the floor, top off, and the remains of the sanddragon -- a mangled wing and thorax -- in the mouth of his cat. The cat's name is Darner. We are not making this up.

Fortunately, Jeff has some photos, and he also collected an exuvia which hopefully belonged to the tasty sanddragon.

Common Sanddragon -- a.k.a. "cat food." Photo by Jeff Sommer, all rights reserved.

We can relate to this! Mark and Adrienne O'Brien have a four-cat household: Johan, Val, Kosh, and Sassafras. Julie Craves and Darrin O'Brien have two cats, Sophie and Juniper. I can't speak for Mark's close encounters, but several times Juniper has taken an immediate interest in odes wiggling in their glassine envelopes as soon as we walk in the house after a collecting trip. So far, no casualties.

Mark adds: When Adrienne and I first moved to Ann Arbor in 1981, we adopted a stray cat that I named Frank, after Frank Kurczewski, my graduate advisor at Syracuse. We lived in an apartment at the time, and I was collecting a lot of Hymenoptera my first summer here. One day I had pinned up a bunch of specimens and left them on the kitchen table. I don't recall how long they were there -- probably just a few hours, but when I came back, it was obvious that Frank had been nosing through them and one was missing, pin and all. The next day I saw Frank, and a pin was sticking out of his butt --and luckily it was the rounded part first. I pulled it out, and the cat apparently suffered no other effects, as he lived for about 14 years.

15 May 2012

Wanted: Common and Slender Baskettails

Baskettails in the genus Epitheca are some of the earliest odonates to emerge in spring. Several days ago, I saw multiple individuals for the first time this season. In southeast Michigan, these are usually in the Common/Slender Baskettail complex (E. cynosura, E. costalis, or intergrades).

These two species are very hard to tell apart, even in the hand with magnification. Some may elude identification completely. We are unsure of the exact range of E. costalis in Michigan, what proportion of the population are intergrades, and how much the morphology (in particular wing coloration) of either species varies across the area.

We encourage the collection of specimens of Epithecas of these species; small series from various locations are especially helpful. It's not completely necessary that you conclusively identify them.  For information on this species complex, take a look at the post at Urban Dragon Hunters on the Wayne County record of E. costalis (then called Stripe-winged Baskettail) and the following resources:

26 April 2012

Vouchers for early (and late) dates

We recently received a query about collecting vouchers that do not represent new records for a county, but are the first of the season.

I think having first-of-season specimens (and last, as well) in the collection are very worthwhile. They are especially important to provide baseline as well as ongoing data on phenology fluctuations due to climate change -- something researchers are already doing with herbarium specimens.

Unfortunately, with Odonata there hasn't been too much motivation or incentive to make sure the entire flight period of each species is represented by specimens. It may be that some species that fly during the summer months will have the best data, since collectors are out and about during peak season and more likely to get individuals from throughout the entire period. Species that arrive early in the spring or linger later in the fall may be flying when folks are not out with their nets.

Darrin and I have always made an effort to at least collect individuals that are earlier or later than any others of their species in the MOS database, if not the first or last of a species in each season. Darrin went through and created a spreadsheet of first and last dates for all species in the counties we usually collect in. This is a little tedious, so Mark and I are looking into incorporating a Julian date field in the database. This way, records could be searched and sorted by day-of-year...great for volunteer users and also for making phenology graphs for the atlas.

Meanwhile, vouchering first-of-the-year for a variety of species is a decent strategy and can really add to the knowledge we have about flight periods and changes in the timing of emergence and arrival of migrants. We're happy to have these records to add to the database.

19 March 2012

Wanted: Early adult Common Green Darners

We have received our first report of Common Green Darner (Anax junius) for the state: 18 March near Pointe  Mouille in southern Wayne County. While nearly every dragonfly enthusiast eagerly awaits the start of the field season, not too many of us are ready with a net to snag the first green darners of the season (which in any event are not too easy to catch). Thus, the earliest adult voucher we have is in mid-April.

With the incredibly early spring this year, just about anyone has the opportunity to provide a new early voucher date for Common Green Darner. We invite you to get out your nets and snag one anywhere in the state. Let us know in the comments if you get one! Don't forget, you can see this page on how to collect, prepare, and submit vouchers. The voucher template is now available on the downloads page. If you need glassine envelopes, contact Mark O'Brien (mfobrien AT gmail DOT com) and he can send you a bunch.

Establishing flight seasons for each species is just another valuable piece of data that can be obtained from collecting vouchers. Another potential use for sampling early-arriving odonates is future molecular sampling to determine source populations. Therefore, we'd prefer a voucher. However, Common Green Darner is among the species in which a photograph is acceptable. Please note it needs to be a mature male, or female or immature male (the latter unlikely this time of year) if "bullseye" on forehead is clearly visible in photo. See the post on photos regarding instructions on submitting the photo to Odonata Central, and then indicating it on your voucher template.

Good luck!

08 March 2012

Voucher specimens required

For Odonata records to be considered valid and used in the Atlas, a voucher specimen must be deposited in the UMMZ insect collection (or at another institution). There are a few exceptions of easily identified common species for which photographic records will be considered. See this post for details.

There are many reasons for this requirement. Many odonates are not reliably identified through photographs. Without a specimen, there is no material available for taking measurements (which may vary by location), or for molecular and/or genetic analysis (a number of species that are new to an area or even new to science have been "found" in museum collections after such testing). In the future, specimens may be used in ways we cannot imagine today. I'm sure the early collectors of some of the odonates in the UMMZ collection, which are over 100 years old, never imagined projects like the International Barcode of Life!

We are aware some people may not want to bother with collecting. You can contribute by letting us, or another collector, aware of potential new records so that a proper voucher can be obtained, if necessary.

Some people may not even want to that because they have an ethical objection to killing insects. We can only say that adult dragonflies are typically very short-lived  insects with very high reproductive rates.  The adults you see are a small proportion of the local population, most of which are underwater, living as nymphs. Your very judicious collection of a representative voucher will have no impact on the population as a whole. In addition, if you are observant, you may see the nymphal exuviae of recently emerged adults. Collecting those exuviae are actually quite reliable ways to determine the identity, and of course, approximates an actual emergence date for the adult. Since the collection of exuviae does not impact the life of the adult specimen, exuviae are accepatble means of vouchering threatened /endangered species. For information on collecting exuviae, look here.

There is great scientific value in having a specimen beyond just a data point representing the distribution of the species.Voucher specimens are permanent, tangible, and verifiable. For an excellent overview of the role of voucher specimens, see this Biological Survey of Canada article.

We have put together a page on how to prepare and submit voucher specimens to the MOS.

07 March 2012

Permissible photographic records

The MOS will accept photographic documentation for county records to be included in the Atlas of the following species ONLY. Further, in order to be considered for acceptance, these photographs will need to be submitted to Odonata Central.

You'll need to register for a free account there, and upload your photos. These records must contain the date of collection, and the specific location including geocoordinates. Once you have submitted each record, it will appear as "pending" in the Decision field. After the record has been vetted, the Decision will appear as "Confirmed." At that point, you can fill out the MOS data entry template (available on the download page) with all needed data; use the OC number as your "Fld No". You can email the spreadsheet with one or many photographic records at any time to Mark O'Brien (mfobrien AT gmail DOT com). Please keep physical vouchers and photographic records on separate spreadsheets, and indicate that your submission is for photos.

Acceptable species for photographic records:

Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata) -- mature male only
Violet Dancer (Argia fumipennis violacea) -- mature male only
Aurora Damsel (Chromagrion conditum) -- mature male only
Orange Bluet (Enallagma signatum) -- mature male only
Fragile Forktail (Ischnura posita) -- mature male only
Common Green Darner (Anax junius) -- mature male; female or immature male only if "bullseye" on forehead is clearly visible in photo.
Prince Baskettail (Epitheca princeps)
Calico Pennant (Celithemis elisa)
Halloween Pennant (C. eponina)
Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis)
Spangled Skimmer (Libellula cyanea) -- stigma must be visible.
Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa)
Twelve-Spotted Skimmer (Libellula pulchella)
Four-spotted Skimmer (Libellula quadrimaculata)
Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis)
Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera)
Common Whitetail (Plathemis lydia)
Band-winged Meadowhawk (Sympetrum semicinctum)
Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata)  

If you have high quality photographs of other potential county records, please let us know. We can include them as "hypothetical" species, and/or attempt to obtain a voucher. If your photograph is of an actual voucher specimen that will not be deposited in the MOS collection, we can certainly use it as a valid record depending on the circumstances (ability to verify the identification, etc.).

Collecting Odonata Nymphs

Collecting and Preserving Vouchers of Odonata Nymphs

It's easy to see why adult Odonata are so popular, but it’s important to remember that the aerial adult stage is just a small fraction of the life cycle of an ode. Since the nymphs (or larvae, depending on which term you prefer) are found in water, they are less obvious, nor are they as easily identified as the adult stage. However, collecting nymphs is a good way to record what's living in the aquatic habitats.

Ethan Bright and Joel Wiechsel in a stream in Livingston Co., 1998.

The techniques used for sampling nymphs differ, depending on whether you are collecting in moving water (lotic), such as a streams and rivers, or still waters (lentic), such as lakes and ponds. Lotic habitats may range from tiny creeks to large rivers. You will for the most part only catch nymphs when sampling the streams, ponds, seeps, and lake bottoms. Try to minimize disruption to the site where you are collecting. It’s standard to stand upstream from your kick-seine or D-ring net and dislodge the substrate so that the insects float into the device you are using. With sampling along the edge of banks and ponds, it’s typical to swish the net about in short strokes and then examine the contents.

Unless you want to get wet, chest waders or hip boots are a good idea. One can get by with wearing an old pair of sneakers, but spending a couple of hours in water can get old. With waders you avoid leeches, stay comfortably dry, and at the end of the day, your feet will feel so much better. Some aquatic situations are potentially dangerous to a lone collector, so it is advisable to collect with a companion. Bogs and fens and deep-muck-bottomed lakes can be places where a person collecting alone might get stuck for hours. Floating bog-mats can be dangerous, too. Streams and rivers have their own potential dangers. If you can avoid collecting alone, please do so. Additionally, in or near metropolitan areas, you might come into contact with polluted waters that are potentially hazardous. Waters might be polluted with organic matter or with sharp debris. A good set of chest or hip waders provide a measure of safety. I do not advocate wearing sandals or going barefoot when doing aquatic sampling, as there are too many ways to acquire an injury from glass, metal, or sharp rocks. In addition, algae-covered rocks can be slippery. Avoid wading where you cannot see the bottom!

For aquatic collecting, you will need a net designed for aquatic sampling, such as a D-net or similarly strengthened net with a long handle and strong nylon mesh (500-250µm mesh is best). You can also use standard kick-seines in riffle areas. Standard round insect nets are not good for this purpose. Small aquatic dip nets may be improvised from aquarium nets, strainers, etc. Larger D-ring nets can be purchased from vendors such as BioQuip. A white plastic or enamel pan is essential for examining your scoops of debris and muck in the field, and for separating out the nymphs. Much of the technique is pretty standard benthic invertebrate sampling, which can be found in many reference sources, such as this pdf.

Specimens to be preserved may be dropped into 70% ethanol or isopropanol. Specimens to be kept alive should be separated by size to avoid cannibalism and predation. Your samples can be stored in plastic vials, screw-top glass jars, or polyethylene "whirl-pack" bags. Some researchers keep their nymphs in water, and then preserve them at the end of the day by first dropping them into boiling water (which kills them instantly), and then placing them into ethanol.

Make sure that data accompanies preserved specimens - use either pencil or "pigma pens"on rag paper or card stock to prevent fading or leaching of ink.
Of course, in addition to Odonata nymphs, you will find a lot of other macroinvertebrates in your nets. If there are watershed surveys in your area, you may want to check with those groups to see if they might be interested in the other insects that you find. Caddisflies (Trichoptera), Mayflies (Ephemeroptera), and Stoneflies (Plecoptera) are commonly found while sampling.

Things to note during stream surveys:
•Type of habitat - riffles, cobbles, woody debris, sloughs, vegetated substrates
•Approximate width and depth of stream where sampled. Size and depth of lake, if a lentic habitat.
•Type of substrate - sandy, rocky, mucky, etc.
•Temperature, if possible
•Color of water - clear, tea-stained, turbulent, etc.
•Type of shoreline - high banks, rocky, etc.


So long as they are inside rigid containers, you can send exuviae in the dry state.

However, for specimens in alcohol, there are certain regulations for shipping that must be followed. It may be easiest to hand carry the specimens and pass them along to the MOS in person. If you wish to mail specimens to the UMMZ, please go to the following website for information on mailing wet specimens.

I'll admit that sampling for nymphs isn't nearly as exciting as trying to net a flying adult, but in terms of real science, there is a lot that we don't know about the immature stages of many odes. You may find that catching nymphs and trying to rear them to adults is a fun and rewarding experience. With today's plethora of digital recording devices, you can make movies of nymphs feeding, record a time-lapse movie of emerging adults, and whatever other behaviors that interest you.

In terms of trying to identify them, the place to start is here. Although the Michigan Odonata Larvae pages haven't been updated in a few years, it's the best thing out there so far.

05 March 2012

Collecting dragonfly exuviae

Exuviae are the cast nymphal (or larval, depending on which term you are most familiar with) skins of the penultimate instar of Odonata. They provide important information about where species live and where they emerge. Since the larval characters are quite evident, most exuviae are identifiable to species level. Exuviae are not living, so participants not wanting to collect and kill living odonates can make a contribution just by conducting surveys for exuviae along rivers, streams, and lakes. In addition, it has been recognized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that exuviae collections are acceptable means of documenting the presence of threatened/endangered species of Odonata. Exuviae indicate the presence of larval populations and past breeding populations at a particular locale, and therefore, they are valuable records for the Atlas. Participants are encouraged to collect exuviae and note the location and conditions where they are found. The UMMZ has an outstanding collection of Odonata exuviae, and most are catalogued in a database. Exuviae should be documented with as much care as adults.

To collect an exuvia, carefully remove it from the substrate that is resting on. You may wish to photograph it in situ before removing it. Note the type of substrate that is is resting on, and the height/distance from water. Place the exuvia in a rigid container (when 35mm film was so commonly used, the plastic film cans were excellent collecting containers), such as a plastic pill vial, film can, mints tin, etc. Label it with your field number (see the page on submitting vouchers -- the documentation and submission procedure is the same). When we receive the collected exuviae, they are immersed in ethanol and placed into glass vials, labeled, and identified. All that information is recorded into our database. Variation in emergence sites says something about the behavior of the adults and when they emerge, and recording this information is very useful.

Odonata exuviae are identified the same way as preserved nymphs. We keep the exuviae in ethanol so as to keep the exoskeleton flexible and so the bits don't break off, which they would if dry. There is no all-around published guide to immature Odonata, and the best resource thus far is the still-incomplete Michigan key by Ethan Bright. It is a few years out-of-date on the distribution maps, and species found in the state, but it it still the best resource available, and is very useful.

You will usually find clubtail exuviae very close to the water's edge, often on rocks, bridge abutments, or debris. Basket-tails (Epitheca spp.) and many skimmers usually emerge in vegetation near the edge of water, often on shrubs or emergent reeds. Darners often emerge on cattails and similar plants a few inches above the water. However, you may find river cruisers and stream cruisers have emerged many yards from the water, up on the side of a structure or tree trunk. Damselfly exuviae can also be identified, but are not as robust as dragonfly exuviae, and are often missing the caudal lamellae, which are important for identification. If you are a keen observer, you can record the number of exuviae along a stretch of river or stream, which will often be useful in estimating the size of the emergence of a particular species. Exuviae surveys are often done in other states, and are used as a monitoring tool.

It is not uncommon to see adults emerging from the nympal stage. It's an amazing process that often takes just a few minutes. Of course, the adults are easier to identify than the nymphs, but photographing the adults and keeping the exuviae for vouchers is an acceptable compromise. In general, it's not recommended to collect adults immediately after they have emerged, as their bodies are too soft and lack the coloration necessary for identification. They will shrivel up to thin ghosts of themelsves. If you wish to collect them, please place the living specimen into a container large enough and rigid enough to allow them to complete their transformation into a more mature specimen. This usually requires about 4 to 8 hours for them to fully harden and not be what are called "tenerals." Then, photograph them if you wish, prepare them as specimens, or release them.

27 February 2012

Where your specimens go for posterity

The voucher specimens you submit to the Michigan Odonata Survey are housed in the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology on the UM campus in Ann Arbor. The Insect Division houses over 4.5 million specimens of various insects from around the world, and has a rich and interesting history.

The Odonata collection is among the finest in the Western Hemisphere:
Odonata. (860 drawers; 4800 vials; numerous slides of genitalia and wings, ca. 3000+ species). The Odonata collection is second in size in the United States only to the Florida State Collection in Gainesville, but is broader in taxonomic and geographic scope than all others. The collection consists primarily of the combined collections made or obtained by E.B. Williamson, C.H. Kennedy, M. Wright, L.K. Gloyd, and the Michigan Odonata Survey, including the Förster collection which was purchased by the UMMZ. The collection is world-wide in scope, but with strong emphasis on the Americas. Approximately 40% of the collection is North American, 15% Central American, and 20% South American, particularly the northern and Andean regions. These collections, made largely by Williamson and Kennedy, consist of good series of specimens from many localities, largely identified or sorted into unnamed species. The 25% of the collection from the Old World is synoptic, containing at least one species from 80-90% of nominal genera. This material, primarily from the Förster collection or obtained by purchase or exchange, is also largely identified. The collection probably contains the largest number of determined specimens of any in the world, and is also rich in unstudied research material, particularly from Central and South America.

Your contribution will be catalogued, databased, and kept in the collection for researchers to examine for generations to come.