Pond at southwest corner of Wildlife Drive at Big Salt Marsh, QuiviraOdonata of Quivira National Wildlife Refuge - Stafford County, Kansas

A Web Page by Roy J. Beckemeyer (send mail to royb at
Last Updated: 3 October 2001

Quivira NWR is located in central Kansas and is a major site for shorebird and waterfowl migration.  It has numerous salt marshes and is fed by Rattlesnake Creek.  At right is a picture of one of the pools in the Big Salt Marsh looking north from the southwest corner of the Wildlife Drive (photo taken October, 2000 by Roy Beckemeyer).  This pool is one site where the saline-tolerant damselfly, Ischnura barberi (below, left, photo taken Sept. 1999 by Roy Beckemeyer), The Desert Forktail, is  known to breed in Kansas.

Ischnura barberi pair in copulaKansas county map showing location of QNWR in Stafford Co.







The map above (right) shows the location of Quivira NWR in Kansas.  The more detailed map below shows the Rattlesnake Creek drainage, together with QNWR (shaded) in the upper right corner.  The map is taken from the data set put together by the Kansas Geological Survey (Surface Water Information Management System).

Map of Rattlesnake Creek Drainage and Quivira NWR













Anax junius pair ovipositing in tandem

The photograph on the left was taken at Quivira NWR in September, 1996.  It is one of a series of pictures of The Common Green Darner, Anax junius, ovipositing in tandem, one of which was used as the cover photo for the "Checklist of Kansas Dragonflies" (Kansas School Naturalist, 1997).

Teneral female Sympetrum rubicundulum.On a trip to Quivira on 28 May 2001, I observed a number of Odonata, including some newly emerged libellulids: Sympetrum rubicundulum  - all individuals I saw or caught were females (photo to the right).  They perched on cattail leaves in a ditch that borders the "Bobolink meadow" at the northwestern edge of the refuge.  Other dragonflies seen that day included tandem pairs of Aeshnidae: Anax junius and Libellulidae: Sympetrum corruptum



Ventral view of Sympetrum rubicundulum female abdominal terminaliaAt left is a ventral view of the terminal abdominal segments of a specimen of female Sympetrum rubicundulum specimen collected at QNWR on 28 May 2001.  It shows the shape of the vulvar laminae.

Teneral male Lestes rectangularisIn the large cattail marsh near the bunkhouse, there were lots of Anax junius as well as many newly emerged and quite teneral Lestidae: Lestes rectangularis (photo left).  Most of the lestids that I saw and photographed were males.  Note that the individual shown in the photo is holding his wings closed rather than partially open.  This was a very windy day (fortunately, as it kept the mosquitos down), and these damselflies had a difficult time of it when attempting to fly.  Perhaps the wing posture was to keep from blowing away or to prevent wind damage to the soft wings.

On October 1, 2001, there were thousands of Familiar Bluets (Enallagma civile) ovipositing in seemingly every bit of open water on the refuge, along with similar large numbers of the two common Kansas fall dragonflies, The Common Green Darner (Anax junius) and the Variegated Meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum).  All three species were ovipositing in tandem.  I saw only one other species, a single male Blue-faced Meadowhawk (Sympetrum ambiguum); there were no Ischnura barberi nor Aeshna multicolor flying, although I have sometimes seen them here in late September to early October in past years.  Fall dragonflies are often a bit tattered.  Below are scanned images of a female Variegated Meadowhawk that was flying at the Big Salt Marsh, showing its ragged hind wings and a clutch of eggs beneath the abdomen:

Female Sympetrum corruptum with small clutch of eggs.Sympetrum corruptum female with tattered wings.





Sympetrum corruptum female perched at QNWR.

The photo at left is of a female Variegated Meadowhawk perched on a twig at Quivira.


Below (right) is a pair of Familiar Bluets (Enallagma civile) ovipositing in a roadside ditch at Quivira.  These coenagrionids often gather in aggregations to lay eggs, as shown in the picture to the left below.

Group of Enallagma civile damselflies ovipositing.  Quivira NWR OCt. 2001.Pair of Enallagma civile damselflies ovipositing in tandem.


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