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Green Drinks McHenry County – Dragonfly Nymphs – Form Follows Function
March 1 @ 5:00 pm
Topics To Discuss:
This event will be hybrid, for those who are unable to attend in person.
Pre-registration is required for Zoom attendance, but not for in-person attendance.
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The aquatic insect order Odonata includes the dragonflies and damselflies – remarkable insects strongly tied to the wetlands and waterways in which they breed and develop. Their aquatic habitat requirements in northern Illinois are under threat from climate change and human development which alter the hydrology of the systems upon which they rely. This talk, while providing a brief overview of their complex life cycle, will focus primarily on the dragonfly’s immature aquatic stage, known as a nymph, in which they spend the majority of their lives. Dragonfly nymphs have evolved fascinating morphological characters to adapt to specific aquatic niches. We will consider the specific needs of several local species and offer suggestions for how citizen scientists and private landowners can become involved in the monitoring and conservation of these essential creatures.
Marla Garrison is an instructor of biology at McHenry County College. She is the author of Damselflies of Chicagoland published online by the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History (https://fieldguides.fieldmuseum.org/guides/guide/388). She sat on the Executive Council of the Dragonfly Society of the Americas for many years. She has worked with the US Fish & Wildlife Service on the federally endangered Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly project and conducts dragonfly research and surveys throughout the state of Illinois and around the country. She is currently completing her second field guide entitled Dragonfly Nymphs of Northern Illinois.