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.

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