Tuesday 22 June 2021

Early June Insects

Early June is always a great time of year to go out and look for bugs. I have gotten out on a few occasions to try and nail down some of my target species for this time of year. I have compiled some of the more notable sightings into this post.

Back on June 5th I went to Lambton Shores in search of some of the neat insects that call that place home. I didn't see too much of interest when I visited The Pinery, other than a Cyrano Darner and an Eastern Pine Elfin butterfly on a dock. Its not an insect, but these Northern Sunfish were just off the same dock! 

I visited the MNR parking lot and the Ipperwash Dunes and Swales in search of my main target species, Dusted Skipper. This is a very range restricted butterfly, and I believe that Lambton Shores may be the only place it is found in Ontario. It took a bit, but eventually I found some. 

I also ended up seeing another lifer butterfly in the form of a Common Roadside Skipper.

Several species of dragonflies were around as well.

Racket-tailed Emerald

Slaty Skimmer

Belted Whiteface

Lancet Clubtail

Beaverpond Baskettail

A couple of neat flies were seen too.

Bumble Bee Mimic Robber Fly

Golden-backed Snipe Fly

I next visited Fossil Road on the Ausable River, since it was more or less on my way home. I always enjoy stopping here, as it seems you never know what you will see!

I was mostly focusing on dragonflies, and came up with two species of clubtails, Midland and the rare Rapids Clubtail. I saw a couple Rapids about 4 kilometers up river last year.

Midland Clubtail

Rapids Clubtail

I also saw a Common Sootywing, a somewhat uncommon butterfly species.

A couple days later on June 7th I was back out to the Ausable River in search of a rare species of clubtail, Green-faced Clubtail. I worked the section of river near Rock Glen CA. It took a bit, but I finally managed to find a few Green-faced Clubtails, a new species for me!

There were a few males patrolling the river, and I caught a female later on.

One of my most notable sightings wasn't even of a live dragonfly. I spotted a dead Twin-spotted Spiketail caught up on some grass! This may be the first record of this species for the Ausable River, and perhaps Lambton County. On the 5th I had seen a spiketail sp. briefly while I was on Fossil Road, which is in Middlesex. If it was the same species, it would have constituted a new county record for Middlesex. Due to this individual's proximity to Middlesex, I can only assume they are present there too. 

After I was done at Rock Glen, I made another stop along Fossil Road. Completely different than just a couple days prior in that there were no clubtails flying around! I did however find an Eastern Red Damsel, a new one for my Middlesex list.

On June 10th I decided to check out some areas close to home for odonates. I figured it was about time for a visit to the Sifton Bog, so that was my first destination of the day. 

I was quite pleased to see that there were several Spatterdock Darners, which I first found here in 2019 (first Middlesex county record) out over the pond, indicative of a breeding population here. None came close enough for a swing with my net, other than this one when I only had my camera in my hand! At least I got a nice photo :)

There were many Painted Skimmers as well, including a couple pairs in copula and an oviposting female, also indicative of a breeding population. The only Painted Skimmer I had seen prior to this was also at Sifton Bog in 2019. Absolutely gorgeous dragonflies. 

My first "in hand" Carolina Saddlebags were seen as well. Another breeding species here.

There were a few damselflies of interest as well.

Azure Bluet

Boreal Bluet

Amber-winged Spreadwing

Boreal Bluet was a new Middlesex species for me.

I made a visit to Komoka Provincial Park next. Here I was in search of another potentially new species for my county ode list, Delta-spotted Spiketail. After a long and grueling hike, I eventually spotted one, but was only able to get off a quick photo. 

There were also quite a few of these cicadas around as well, Say's Cicada (Okanagana rimosa).

I made one last stop at a storm pond in North London, where I found an unexpected county lifer ode, Lancet Clubtail.

It was an enjoyable few days of tracking down insects! Not much else to do these days :-P

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