Summer Dragonflies at GNFH












The ponds and wetland areas at Genoa NFH are home to many aquatic insects, including the aquatic larval stage of dragonflies and damselflies. After hatching from eggs laid in the water or on emergent vegetation in shallow waters, the fully aquatic nymphs feed and grow for one or more years before they are ready to emerge as the terrestrial, flying adults we are all familiar with. The Wisconsin Aquatic Terrestrial Inventory (WiATRI), a program within the Wisconsin DNR that collects information from statewide surveys, lists 53 dragonflies and 31 damselflies species observed in Vernon County, and many of the more common species can be seen flying around the Hatchery during the summer. Some of the earliest fliers are Common Green Darners, which can be observed beginning in midApril – June, July and August are prime flight times for many species, such as the Common Baskettail, Prince Baskettail, and Widow Skimmer pictured here. Some species, such as the Autumn Meadowhawk, can be observed through October. The Hatchery is a great place to view dragonflies in flight all summer- the grounds are always open to the public, and the pond roads are a great place to walk and observe dragonflies and damselflies, birds, and other wildlife in a quiet, low traffic environment. By: Beth Glidewell