Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly eggs that were received in November from research partners at Univ. of South Dakota are still happily chilling in their winter homes. These eggs are maintained at a steady 3-4°C until a planned warming schedule that will begin in April. During the warming time, temperatures are stepped up a few degrees per week and egg cups are checked daily for new hatches. New hatches are then placed in individual culture cups and a routine feeding schedule of zooplankton prey begins.
Hine’s Emerald eggs over wintering in a culture cup. Photo: Beth Glidewell/USFWS.
New juvenile culture is a very hands-on, time intensive stage of the culture cycle, so while we’re waiting for the spring hatch to begin, supplies are being gathered and prepared. One of the steps that slowed down the process last season was filtering and concentrating zooplankton prey out of pond water that is pumped through the mussel building raceways. Each culture cup is fed a few milliliters of this concentrated food 2-3 times per week, so to speed up this step, additional sieves were assembled to double the filtering capacity. Culture cups have also been gathered, pre-written labels are being prepared, pipettes and other bench-top supplies have been collected… now fingers crossed that the eggs remain stable for a few more weeks, then a successful hatch can begin!
By: Beth Glidewell