Anyone exploring the grasslands and dry forests around Kamloops is familiar with the Hereford cattle that graze the area. Their distinctive white faces are hard to miss. But a closer look around pond edges or even in dry forest openings or grasslands will reveal much smaller creatures with white face. These are members of our local dragonfly fauna. There are two groups of smaller dragonflies that have white faces. The meadowhawk group in the Sympetrum genus has a single member known as the White-faced Meadowhawk (Sympetrum obtrusum.) The other group in the genus Leucorrhinia are known as whitefaces of which there are 6 species in the province. They all have white faces but the males and females have different body colour patterns. Separating some to species can be tricky if you don’t have them in hand.
The species in the photograph is an immature female Dot-tailed Whiteface (Leucorrhinia intacta.) She was flying in an upland meadow filled with grasses and flowering Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata.) There were no ponds close by but these dragonflies are good fliers and often move well away from wetlands. She looks similar to another common species known as the Hudsonian Whiteface (L. hudsonica,) but provincial expert Dr. Rob Cannings felt confident that my photo depicted L. intacta, even though he was unable to study some clinching features in hand.
Note the dark abdomen with brighter yellow markings on the dorsal surface with a wider one at the outer end. The yellowish suffusion at the base of the wings suggests that this is an immature female. Her brown eyes contrast with the white face.
Dragonflies in British Columbia are classified in the Order Odonata with two sub-orders. The Anisoptera sub-order comprises the larger dragonflies that many people see around marshes while the sub-order Zygoptera consists of the smaller and more fragile-looking Damselflies. This latter …Continue reading →
This article appeared in the May 2018 edition of Sage Whispers. You can read the complete newsletter here. In January 2018, the Kamloops Naturalist Club applied for funding available from BC Nature to build 50 bluebird boxes in order to …Continue reading →
Here is a look at what was seen on the Naturalist Club trip to Gamble Pond. If you know the names of these birds, please add them in the comments. Hover your cursor over the images to see the caption, …Continue reading →
One arrived on Tuesday and a few more today, feeding on the sunflower seeds under my feeder in Barnhartvale. A number of years ago hundreds arrived and ate everything. Freshly emerged peas in the garden were devoured. A week later …Continue reading →
Welcome to Mushroom Monday for April 30, 2018 With the recent appearance of a few species of ink cap mushrooms, we can expect to see them through the summer and fall. The big majority of ink cap mushrooms (called the …Continue reading →
A Modified Letter to the Editor of Kamloops This Week published April 25, 2018 By Rick Howie, Registered Professional Biologist I read with interest the comments by Hugh Jordan in Kamloops This Week regarding the Sandhill Cranes passing over Aberdeen …Continue reading →