Dragonflies: the ultimate prehistoric predator

Today’s blog came from Hope Freeman, Discovery leader at Grundy Lake Provincial Park

Gather round. I’ve got a creature of the night that is sure to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up…just in time for spooky season.

Picture this: you’re lakeside, with the sun just setting on the horizon. You catch a glimpse of something lurking in the shallow, weedy water below.

A drab aquatic insect appears with six long, jointed legs, each equipped with two claws.

Two large eyes and a jaw that covers most of the bottom part of the head…seemingly peering back at you.

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The fascinating world of dragonflies and their importance to ecosystems

Today’s blog comes to us from Algonquin Provincial Park Naturalist Sarah Lamond.

Picture it: a warm July day at Algonquin.

You’re basking in the day’s rays and exploring an interpretive trail. It’s all picture perfect until you hear that telltale buzz and feel an all-too-familiar pain on your scalp. The Deer Flies have arrived. Swatting at the growing swarm, you look to the sky and wonder: will there be no relief?

And then they arrive. The prehistoric predator. The Deer Fly devourer. The people’s champion: dragonflies.

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Emergence of the Dragonhunter

Today’s post comes from Evan McCaul, Ecologist with Ontario Parks’ Northwest Zone. 

While conducting an ecological inventory of Brightsand River Provincial Park, Ontario Parks staff witnessed and recorded a large scale emergence of dragonflies, including a Dragonhunter, the largest clubtail dragonfly in North America!

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BioBlitz at Sleeping Giant

Team members from our Northwest Zone, including Barb Rees, Evan McCaul, Lesley Ng, Renée Lalonde, Laura Myers and Kyra Santin, combined to share the results of Sleeping Giant’s summer BioBlitz! 

Sleeping Giant Provincial Park isn’t just home to beautiful cliffs and hiking trails. The park also plays host to a diverse group of plants and animals.

Sleeping Giant celebrated this biodiversity with its very own two-day intensive BioBlitz from June 17 to 18.
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Hunting dragons, discovering damsels

During the summer of 2015, several research projects were conducted at Murphys Point Provincial Park, but one in particular attracted the attention of staff and public alike.

With long-handled nets in hand, park staff — led by expert volunteer Bev Edwards — could be seen thigh-deep in the vernal ponds, streams and lakes located within the park.

What were they doing?

Surveying for odonates (that’s dragonflies and damselflies to most of us).

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