Species of the Week: The Dot-tailed Whiteface

Screen Shot 2020-07-17 at 4.15.51 PMThis week, our featured species is the Dot-tailed Whiteface! Pictured here, a male prominently shows off his eponymous white face and yellow dot, near the end of his abdomen. Like all dragonflies, Dot-tailed Whitefaces belong to the Order known as Odonata (Odonates in English) which includes Damselflies and means the “toothed ones” in Latin. Abundant throughout July and August, Dot-tailed Whitefaces are commonly found at Murphys Point, especially while conducting odonate surveys around bogs, marshes, ponds, and lakes with volunteer, Bev Edwards. As a member of the Skimmer (Libellulidae) family, they are often found perched on aquatic vegetation. Interestingly, after a pair of Dot-tailed Whitefaces mate, the male hovers above the female to protect her, ensuring that no other males have the opportunity to mate with her before she has laid his eggs. Come to the park some time to check out what other insects may be flying around! 

Posted in Murphys Point Provincial Park, Species of the Week

Video Series: The Barred Owl

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Species of the Week: The Pearly Wood-Nymph

Pearly Wood-nymph3 - Staff House, Murphys Point PP, Perth, ON

This week is dedicated to the Pearly Wood-Nymph! Like its close cousin, the Beautiful Wood-Nymph, these nocturnal moths are members of the genus Eudryas and can be seen in flight at Murphys Point between June and August. Curiously, both have evolved protective camouflage that gives adult specimens the appearance of bird droppings! Like the vast majority of winged insects, moths develop from their larval stage (in this case a caterpillar) into winged adults through metamorphosis. Murphys Point hosts a number of flowering plants for Pearly Wood-Nymph caterpillars to feed on, such as Virginia Creeper and Evening Primrose, to gain enough strength in order to go through metamorphosis. So, Murphys Point is a great place to start looking for moths. In fact, since 2015 almost 800 species- including the Pearly Wood-Nymph- have been added to the park’s moth list thanks to our Biologist, Mark Read.

Posted in Murphys Point Provincial Park, Species of the Week