Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Treefrog, sundrops, and skimmer

A bit of a mix of different finds follows, all recorded here in the great state of Ohio in recent weeks...

Cope's Gray Treefrog, Hyla chrysoscelis, Hocking County. I was at a friend's place, and several of these little charmers were utilizing the swimming pool. The frog above is perched on the lip of the pool. One of them had even taken up residence in a wren nest box, and would peer from the entrance at his admirers!

This is a male, and he was busy vocalizing. You can see his deflated throat pouch. Cope's Gray Treefrogs sound superficially like the visually identical Gray Treefrog, Hyla versicolor, but are pretty easy to tell by voice. They emit an astonishingly loud raspy trill. Note the animal's conspicuous toe pads, which allow it to readily climb trees and other objects.

Sundrops, Oenothera fruticosa. These little primrose are rather uncommon and local in Ohio, occurring in perhaps half of our 88 counties. It is one of the more diminutive of the primroses; certainly but a shadow of the abundant and widespread Common Evening Primrose, O. biennis.

This species usually is found in relatively high quality, undisturbed sites, and these plants were growing in a wonderful Adams County cedar glade prairie, where they were companions to a number of rare flora.

The same prairie that produced the sundrops also yielded this dragonfly: a Spangled Skimmer. Note the conspicuous white stigmas, or marks on the outer leading edge of the wings. These aren't particularly common in Ohio, at least in my experience, and we were delighted to see this one.

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1 comment:

Nina said...

I saw my first spangled skimmers this summer around my vernal pool. The blue of the males' abdomens is such a lovely blueberry-blue--these could easily become my favorites in the dragonfly world!