January Chapter Meeting: Dragonflies

Our first chapter meeting presentation for 2020 was really interesting to many of us. I think at least I thought I knew a lot about dragonflies, but it turned out that I did not! Thanks to Cindy Travis’s presentation, I ended up wanting to learn more.

My royalty-free image company labeled this a dragonfly, but it’s a damselfly.

The first thing we learned was how to tell a dragonfly from a damselfly (they are both Odonata). The damselflies are usually much thinner and hold their wings upright, while dragonflies hold their wings out. Their eyes are oriented differently, too.

Yes! a dragonfly!

Cindy also shared the lifecycle of these interesting insects, and showed a film about their mating practices. Wow, it’s amazing they breed at all; it’s pretty complicated.

The nymphs are very interesting, too. They eat pretty much anything and go through many changes while they live underwater. They moult a LOT.

Damselflies getting ready to breed. They make a “heart” shape.

Finally, Cindy told us about a project we can participate in to track the presence of five types of dragonflies around Texas. It’s a part of the Migratory Dragonfly Partnership, and you can read more about it under Migration Monitoring Project.

Other Chapter News

Don Travis presents the certificate of appreciation to Phyllis Shuffield.

We thanked Phyllis Shuffield for her service as Chapter President for the past two years. She received a lovely certificate and a gift certificate as well (for all that hummingbird food!).

I have my warbler!

We also presented many of our members with their 2019 re-certification or initial certification pins. Those golden-cheeked warblers will be gracing many people’s lanyards and shirts now.

Let’s start getting hours for this year by attending some of the 2020 training class presentations!

Jackie Fields and Patrick Still enjoy the potluck food at our new meeting facility in Cameron.

More Resources

Want to learn more about Odonata? Here are some great links.

Dragonflies in Texas – some excellent photos

Introduction to Dragonfly and Damselfly Watching by By Mark Klym and Mike Quinn, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (PDF)

Migratory Dragonfly Project – they even have a phone app!

Odonata of Texas – the 238 dragonfly and damselfly species that have been observed in Texas on iNaturalist

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