Saturday 31 July 2021

An Assortment of Algonquin Odes

These past few weeks in Algonquin have been rather rainy, but there have been a few good days mixed in. Odes, short for odonates (dragonflies and damselflies) are an obsession shared by many of the Algonquin Park naturalists, and we have tried our best to see as many as possible. I am quite fond of my Algonquin Park ode list, which is currently sitting at 83 out of the possible 110+ (don't have an exact number) species in the park, with some more hopefully on the way (perhaps even this weekend!).

My first "park ode" of the summer (excluding the ode count on July 2), was a Dot-tailed Whiteface which we found in a culvert on the side of Barron Canyon Road located on Algonquin's east side. This is a rare species in the park, only known from a handful of records, many of which are from along this road.

From this same ditch we (Henrique Pacheco) located a Fragile Forktail, another species with only a handful of records from the same area. It was only first discovered in the park in 2011 by Peter Mills and Reuven Martin. 

Of course the main highlight from that trip were several Arrowhead Spiketails, a new species for the park that had just been discovered the week prior. This was a lifer for me as well. A stellar catch by Pete Simons allowed for close inspection. 

In a nearby fen we caught Clamp-tipped Emeralds.

Also in this fen were two more park odes for me, Emerald Spreadwing and Twelve-spotted Skimmer.

Emerald Spreadwing

Twelve-spotted Skimmer

Later that day outside the park in Petawawa we caught Ocellated and Fawn Darners, as well as we saw several Broad-tailed Shadowdragons, a lifer, all of which were too high up to catch. 

Ocellated Darner

The day prior to that amazing trip, I was in a fen looking for Kennedy's Emeralds, but instead caught several Incurvates, ironically the rarer of the two. I got to observe a couple females oviposting (laying eggs) which was pretty cool. 

The following weekend, I came across a couple more species of Somatochlora emeralds, although neither were new for me. 

Lake Emerald

Brush-tipped Emerald

That's about it for my good photos of odes, but some miscellaneous finds included Slender Spreadwing, Saffron-winged Meadowhawk, Black-tipped Darner and Fawn Darner, all new park odes (funny how I got Ocellated Darner before Fawn Darner!). At the VC parking lot I saw a suspicious darner flying around that looked a lot like a Lance-tipped, a rarity in the park, but I flubbed the catch (after running inside for a net), so I guess I'll never know for sure...

Hard to say what August will bring as the peak of ode season is behind us. Hopefully some darner swarms...


  1. Awesome! Best of luck finding some more rarities. Wishing you safe and happy travels wherever you go! 😊

  2. Wow awesome finds Quinten. It is neat to see what species have been added to the parks ode list since I was a naturalist there. Very cool!