The second edition of my “Arizona Wildlife Notebook” will be off to the printer (CreateSpace) as soon as I finish the cover. This edition has introductions and checklists for 12 groups of Arizona animal species: Amphibians, ants, bats, birds, butterflies and moths, dragonflies and damselflies, fish, grasshoppers, lizards, mammals, snakes, and turtles. Groups in bold type are new to the Notebook. The introduction to each group covers the group’s conservation issues and provides references for printed and online field guides. The checklist for each group includes scientific and common names and conservation status. I alphabetized each checklist by scientific name, and I included an index for all the common names. Continue reading →
I have completed the second edition of the Arizona Wildlife Notebook! The new Notebook has four more species groups than the first edition, and it has an expanded index. The most important change is in the conservation status for each species. This time, I standardized the information so that future changes will be easier to track. Continue reading →
Arizona Damselfly and Dragonfly (Odonata) Conservation
These are my favorite predators. They have been around since before the dinosaurs, much longer than any mammal predator that ever existed. They’ve survived for such a long time because once evolution achieved their form and behavior, it hasn’t been able to find anything better–for over three hundred million years. Continue reading →
Damselflies and Dragonflies belong to the order Odonata (“toothed ones”). They are carnivorous predators whose earliest fossils occur in Pennsylvanian sediments deposited about 325 million years ago. Evolution chanced upon an efficient form for these creatures; only small changes have occurred for the last 200 million years. Compare that to mammal predators, most of which have persisted less than 50 million years.
Damselflies and Dragonflies are easy to distinguish because they hold their wings differently when perched. Damselflies perch with their wings together above their back. Dragonflies perch with their wings extended (both photographs). Continue reading →