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Hine’s emerald dragonfly larvae released in northern Michigan
Midwest Region, May 12, 2017
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Containers of Hine’s emerald dragonfly individuals collected by the University of South Dakota in 2011 as eggs. All of the larvae sent from USD were females.
Containers of Hine’s emerald dragonfly individuals collected by the University of South Dakota in 2011 as eggs. All of the larvae sent from USD were females. - Photo Credit: Dawn Marsh, USFWS
Suitable Hine’s emerald dragonfly habitat.
Suitable Hine’s emerald dragonfly habitat. - Photo Credit: Christie Deloria, USFWS
Hine’s emerald dragonfly larvae ready to be released into their original swamp in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Hine’s emerald dragonfly larvae ready to be released into their original swamp in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. - Photo Credit: Dawn Marsh, USFWS
Hine’s emerald dragonfly larva prior to release into the stream-fed wetland.
Hine’s emerald dragonfly larva prior to release into the stream-fed wetland. - Photo Credit: Christie Deloria, USFWS
Hine’s emerald dragonfly larva after being released into a wetland in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Hine’s emerald dragonfly larva after being released into a wetland in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. - Photo Credit: Dawn Marsh, USFWS

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service staff, in partnership with the University of South Dakota, recently transported and released Hine’s emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana) larvae in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The Hine’s emerald dragonfly is a federally endangered dragonfly found in spring fed wetlands and calcareous streams overlying dolomite bedrock. The species is one of North America’s most endangered dragonflies due to habitat loss and degradation, pesticides and environmental contaminants, and changes in ground water.

In 2011, Hine’s emerald dragonfly eggs were collected from a swamp in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula by researchers from the University of South Dakota as part of a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funded study, “Development of Landscape-based Decision Tools for Guiding Management Actions for the Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly." The study was aimed at defining the genetic population structure and productivity of Hine’s emerald dragonfly sites located within the Great Lakes basin. The following year, the eggs hatched and the larvae were separated into two groups. Each group was raised either indoors in a laboratory facility or in outdoor cages as part of a study examining larval growth rates across a variety of habitats. The larvae spent five years contributing to ongoing research at the University before returning to Michigan.

Recently, the Service's Michigan Ecological Services Field Office staff members Christie Deloria-Sheffield and Dawn Marsh (Pathways Intern) received 24 Hine’s emerald dragonfly larvae that had been collected as eggs, as part of the 2011 GLRI-funded study, from Dr. Daniel Soluk of the University of South Dakota. USFWS and US Forest Service staff successfully released the larvae back into the swamp from which they were originally collected. During late spring and early summer of 2017, the larvae will emerge and molt into their breeding adult form. As adult dragonflies, they will live 4 to 5 weeks. It is hoped the released larvae will be able to contribute to and boost the local Hine’s emerald dragonfly population this summer!


Contact Info: Dawn Marsh, 906-226-1212, dawn_marsh@fws.gov
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