Learn About Real Dragons and Damsels in Kane County

Learn About Real Dragons and Damsels in Kane County

Who are the Odonates?

Nope, not a 1950s-era singing group — although “Dragonfly and the Odonates” would have been a good name for a doo-wop band.

Odonates are beautiful creatures. Most of us call them Dragonflies and Damselflies, and there are 25 species reported to live in Kane County.

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These include the American Rubyspot, Blue-tipped Dancer, Red Saddlebags, Eastern Pondhawk, and Variegated Meadowhawk.  (For more intriguing names and photos, see the Illinois Odonate Survey page, the fieldmuseum.org page or the Odonata Central page.

On Friday evening, Feb. 13, you can learn more about these amazing creatures from Campton Township Open Space Program guest instructor Gareth Blakesley, the director of the Illinois Odonate Survey (Dragonfly Monitoring Network). Blakesley comes to Campton Township from the Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens in Palos Heights.  Prior to his work in North America, Gareth was trained in zoology and conservation biology in England and Wales.

View photographs of these beautiful and fascinating insects, and learn about their complex flight mechanisms and the important role they play in our ecosystems. In addition, learn how you can actively contribute to their long-term survival in Kane County. Instruction will be provided on how to become an official Dragonfly Monitor volunteer. The data collected by these citizen scientists is provided to land managers and scientists to enhance Dragonfly habitats.

This Open Space Program event is free and open to the public. It begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13, at the Campton Township Community Center, 5N082 Old La Fox Road, Wasco/St. Charles. Registration in advance for this event is not required, but would be appreciated with an email reply to lisamertz@camptontownship.com. A small raffle prize will be awarded for every 10 participants. For more information, visit CamptonParksAndOpenSpace.com or call 630-549-7947.

SOURCE: Campton Township Open Space Program