Dragonflies and damselflies topic of upcoming Meigs SWCD program

Staff Report

RUTLAND — Dragons and damsels have been sighted at the Meigs Soil and Water Conservation Area near Rutland.

Dragonflies and damselflies, that is.

The public is invited to join Ohio State University State Dragonfly Survey coordinator, MaLisa Spring, and OSU Central Regional Dragonfly Survey coordinator, Bob Glothober, at the Conservation Area on Tuesday, June 12 at 5:30 p.m. to learn more about these fascinating creatures. There will be a short program at the shelter house followed by a hike around the wetland to capture some dragonflies and damselflies.

The Ohio Odonata Society is working with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources-Division of Wildlife to update the original survey that ran from 1991–2001. The new survey began last year and will continue through 2019 and culminate in a lay-person book about Ohio’s dragonflies and damselflies.

Goals for the second survey of Ohio dragonflies and damselflies include: identifying every species known for each county, new species introduced or established in Ohio since the original survey, and to determine changes in distribution and abundance – especially rare species.

Dragonflies and damselflies are beautiful creatures. They come in many colors and have incredible flying abilities. They are excellent indicators of water quality. Dragonflies and damselflies are predators of mosquitoes, small flying insects and even other dragonflies.

Dragonflies and damselflies lay eggs in the water, on aquatic plants, or in wet soil. The aquatic nymphs that hatch are very predatory and eat mosquito larvae, other aquatic insects, and even newly hatched fish or tadpoles. Some species may take up to four years to transform into the adult. When the nymphs are ready to transform they crawl out of the water onto plants. The adult bursts from the nymph shell. Adults only live a few weeks or months. Unpolluted streams, wetlands, and pond are important habitats for these amazing creatures.

If you are interested in learning more, join the Meigs SWCD June 12, 5:30 p.m. at the Conservation Area located on New Lima Road between Harrisonville and Rutland. For more information call the Meigs SWCD office at 740-992-4282, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Staff Report