Our spring outing at Morris Island Conversation Area was filled with great sightings. We learned about the importance of water to ourselves and to the creatures that live in and around it, and discussed what we might find in it. There were many sightings – and captures – of dragonflies, and our friend Jeff told us many things about the strange and wonderful insects along the trails. When we arrived at the pond, there were frogs chasing insects too. Below is a list from Suzanne of noteworthy sightings on this lovely June day.
We learned that only male Clubtail Dragonfly have separated eyes, which is helpful in identifying groups. We saw Prince Baskettail Dragonflies, which hunt in treetops in early morning, Widow Skimmer Dragonflies, and learned while we were handling them that Dragonflies continue eating their prey, even if they are being held! As always, please do not attempt to handle Dragonflies, unless you have been shown how.
We learned a bit about flies as well. The big ones were Crane Flies, often mistaken for overgrown mosquitos. The Scorpion Fly was neat to see, especially the males with their scorpion-like tail! There was also the Stilt-Legged Fly, which mimics wasps and uses its front legs to wave like antennae to trap its prey.
Other interesting sightings included the Dusky Wing Butterfly, from the Skipper group, and the Little Wood Satyr which has eye spots to confuse predators. Millipedes were in abundance, and there were several Green Frogs. At the pond we learned about Whirligig Beetles, which swim really fast in circles, earning their name. These beetles have two sets of eyes, to see above and below water at the same time.