I have identified the damselflies we saw at Black Bayou Lake NWR on the field hike for our first certification workshop. Of the several photos I took, only one is in sufficiently sharp focus to show anyone! Nevertheless, the others were good enough to know that all I photographed were the same species.

Fragile Forktail (Ischnura posita)
Fragile Forktail (Ischnura posita)     (photo by Bette J. Kauffman)

The key identifying feature of this damselfly is the division of the shoulder stripe into a line and dot “exclamation point,” which you can clearly see in the photo. If I hadn’t been at the right angle to get that in the photo, I would not be able to make a positive identification.

Fragile forktails look quite similar to citrine forktails, and that’s what I thought it was in the field. But the unmistakable exclamation point on the shoulder makes this a positive ID.

The species list for workshop one is now complete. I have uploaded a pdf here:

1. Basic Field Skills Species List

Don’t forget to register for workshop two, Plants of Northeast Louisiana with Dr. Charles Allen. The link is ready on the Certification tab of this website.

I haven’t generated an agenda yet. I have to go to Alexandria this coming Tuesday, and I will swing by the site on my way home. I need to check out several things that I want to put on the agenda, e.g., where we’ll meet, best directions to the field site, etc.

But you don’t need to wait to register! We do need to know how many as soon as possible, as Dr. Allen always provides handouts and I will need to get them photocopied.

And for this workshop, my task will be to put down the camera for a change, stay close to Dr. Allen and come home with an accurate list of the plant (and other) species we identify in the field. We did well at Black Bayou, but I’ve been in the field with Dr. Allen. I’ll bet we’ll have more!

Western Ribbon Snake (Thamnophis proximus)
Western Ribbon Snake (Thamnophis proximus)     (photo by Bette J. Kauffman)

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