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Transcript of Meadowhawks
The Natural History of Minnesota's Red Dragonflies
What is a meadowhawk
was named by
Edward Newman in 1833
are known as Darters in
In Japan they're called
there are sixty two species
in the genus Sympetrum
with the greatest diversity
in Japan and Asia.
There are fourteen species
in North America
of North America's
fourteen species can be found in Minnesota
additional species found
is a small dragonfly of the
a specialist of temporary
The evolution & biogeography of the genus Sympetrum is a complex and shaped both by vicariance and dispersal. Many of our North American species have their orgins in Asia.
Preliminary estimates of the divergence dates of Sympetrum species groups suggests a rapid radiation at approximately 32-38 million years ago, possibly influenced by cooling and drying climates of the late Eocene and early Oligocene.
One of the more evolved dragonflies!
The Meadowhawk Lifecyle
or in dry basins
that will fill with
diapause of eggs
prevents hatching until
as eggs (the only other
odonates to do this are the Spreadwing Damselflies).
The eggs hatch as
temperature and light
increase in spring.
rapidly and adults
mid to late
often moving to prairies and meadows
to feed. When mature they return to ponds to mate
are noted for being
frost and freeze hardy
and will often
survive into November
Eye spot of developing larvae!
Ruby Meadowhawk eggs
These eggs overwintered
in my refrigerator
Ruby Meadowhawk nymph
perched on prairie bush clover
April 5, 2012
These wings flew nearly
The Three Amigos
Los Tres Diablos?
Minnesota Odonata Survey Project
Founded and directed by Kurt Mead
Offers workshops and training for citizen scientists
Since 2006 the MOSP has gathered thousands of new county records and added substantially to our knowledge of damselflies and dragonflies in Minnesota
The Minnesota Odonata Survey Project has received support from the USFWS State Wildlife Grants Program, the Minnesota Game and Fish Heritage Enhancement Fund, and the Minnesota Nongame Wildlife Fund through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Ecological Resources.
Online database for North and South America
PRAIRIE BIOTIC RESEARCH, INC.
A nonprofit organization that provides funding for
basic biological research of prairies.
Dragonfly equivalent of e-birder & e-butterfly
County checklists & species distribution maps
Photographic records are vetted by experts
Small grants program for non-affiliated scientists
In 2011, I received a grant to study the Red-veined Meadowhawk (Sympetrum madidum)
that inhabits the Tallgrass Aspen Parkland
in northwestern Minnesota
Nineteen species, previously unknown from Minnesota, have been added to the state list.
One species removed from the state list.
Workshops are known to turn children into dragonfly experts.
Catching dragonflies with nets is known to turn adults back into children.
Author of Dragonflies of the North Woods
Prairie Wetlands Learning Center – Fergus Falls
Odonata is the order of insects that includes
damselfies and dragonflies
The word "Sympetrum" is comprised of two Greek words
"sympiezo" plus "etron"
"compressed" plus "abdomen"
because of the laterally compressed abdomen of this genus
"sym" plus "petros"
which is often reported in guidebooks
Pruinosity on mature meadowhawk females
No other meadowhawk has such a bulbous
abdomen — resembles a goldenrod gall
Red-veined Meadowhawk (Sympetrum madidum)
Lake Bronson State Park – June 2011
Range of the
Dakota County – October 2012
Dakota County – Sept. 2012
Dakota County – 2012
Sometimes there are a lot of meadowhawks!
Lake of the Woods – July 2012
Dakota County – Sept. 2012
Coming soon to a prairie near you...
Presentation and photographs by Scott King
Greek singer Nana Mouskouri singing the Japanese song Aka Tombo in 1976.
In this popular song, the singer is reminded,
very nostalgically, of the red dragonflies
he had first seen while being carried
on someone's back as a child.
And it's the color of the sunset
that reminds him of the color of the dragonflies.
An era or two before Meadowhawks!
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Create or restore temporary ponds
Consider hosting an MOSP workshop
Volunteer with the MOSP
Consider hosting a Meadowhawk walk
There is still much to do...so think of helping out
St Olaf Natural Lands – 2012
Migratory Dragonfly Partnership
Partners Xerces Society & Odonata Central
Pond watch program for citizen scientists
1914: Arthur Whedon - Mankato
1960 - 70s: Charles Hamrum - Gustavus Adolphus
1980s: John Haarstad - Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve