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Best New Mexico Sites for viewing Dragonflies

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  • Robert Larsen
    Hi Ann,   Thanks for asking where some of the best places to go in New Mexico for viewing dragonflies.  I have compiled this list below of some of the best
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 5, 2009
      Hi Ann,
       
      Thanks for asking where some of the best places to go
      in New Mexico for viewing dragonflies.  I have compiled
      this list below of some of the best sites for the state. 
       
      Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge will be holding it's
      Annual Dragonfly Festival next weekend on the 11th
      through the 13th of September here in Roswell New Mexico
      where some 100+ species have been documented.
      Info on the festival can be obtained at: [www.friendsofbitterlake.com]
      and is always worth a visit.
       
       
      Besides Bitter Lake about any stream or pond in New Mexico
      will yield Dragonflies and Damselflies, but some of the best
      areas to view these colorful insects are:


      The Rio Grande Nature Center in Albuquerque
      From the junction of I-25 go west 2 miles
      on I-40, then take the Rio Grande Blvd. Exit 157A
      going 2 miles to Candelaria Street, turn left and
      drive one mile to the nature center. The river and
      a Cattail rimed pond yields Blue-eyed Darners,
      Common Green Darners, Widow Skimmers,
      and tropical Roseate Skimmers. Shady Lakes
      at the north end of Albuquerque is also well known
      for dragonflies and damselflies.

       
      Santa Rosa (City of Natural Lakes) in Guadalupe
      County is an excellent place to view dragonflies.
      A map of it's numerous ponds, streams, and famous
      sinks like the Blue Hole can be obtained at the Chamber
      of Commerce on Will Rogers Drive, and a visit to the
      Rock Lake Hatchery is also interesting especailly the
      outflow from the hatchery for dragonflies.  Santa Rosa
      is just off I-40 on Historic Route 66.


      The Glenwood Fish Hatchery, Catron County, is
      another rich area for dragonflies. From Glenwood head east
      on Highway 174 about 0.2 miles east to a gravel road
      on the right to the fish hatchery, At the hatchery
      ponds at the one can find the rare Arroyo Darner,
      Blue-eyed Darners, Canyon Rubyspots and the
      both the Pacific Spiketail and Apache Spiketail
      have been reported in the area and along the Catwalk
      5 miles further east. The rare Riffle Darner has also
      been found in this area.


      Green Acres Park in downtown Clovis, New Mexico
      is another rich area for viewing dragonflies and
      damselflies. At the lake in the park one can find
      the Eastern Amberwing, Plateau Spreadwings,
      Roseate Skimmers, Widow Skimmers, Blue Dashers,
      Flame Skimmers, Twelve-spotted Skimmers, and
      numerous other damselflies and dragonfleis.


      Sugarite Canyon State Park in Colfax County has
      been a hotspot for dragonflies lately. Take the
      I-25 Exit 452 to New Mexico Highway 72 east
      7 miles to the junction of Highway 526 taking the
      left fork to the park. The three fishing lakes and
      stream have Common Green Darners, Mountain
      Emeralds, and a recently discovered population
      of Taiga Bluet damselflies and a number of Spreadwing
      Damselflies and Dot-winged Baskettails.

      The small rocky desert stream in Oliver Lee State
      Park is a particularly interesting area. From Highway 54/70
      in Alamogordo turn south onto US 54 where the roads
      split heading 8 miles to the park sign and turn left another
      4 miles to the park. That small desert stream in the park
      has the rare Arroyo Darner, the Painted Damsel, Filigree
      Skimmers, along with a number of Bluets and Dancer
      damselflies. And, perhaps, a rare Fiery-eyed Dancer
      which has only recently been found in this area of
      New Mexico.


      In Taos County a recent visit by Texas dragonfly folks
      found the Red River Fish Hatchery to be a rich area for
      Dragonflies. From Questa head south on Highway 522
      about 4 miles turning right on Highway 515 following
      the road several miles to the hatchery. The hatchery
      ponds yield Twelve-spotted Skimmers, Eight-spotted
      Skimmers, Paddle-tailed Darners and a number of other
      dragonflies.


      Bottomless Lakes State Park in Chaves County is
      particularly diverse. From Roswell head east on
      Highway 380 for 12 miles, turn right on NM Highway
      409 haeding south into the state park. Lea Lake in the
      park shows more than 80 species of dragonflies and
      damselflies. It has the only population of the large
      Four-striped Leaftail, along with Bleached Skimmers,
      Dot-winged Baskettails, Bronzed River Cruiser, Swift
      Setwings, Checkered Setwings, and the rare Amethyst
      Dancer.


      Rattlesnake Springs in Eddy County has many rare
      tropical dragonflies. From Carlsbad take US 62/180
      south 26 miles turning right onto County Road 418
      following the signs to the springs which are under
      control of the National Park Service. The large spring
      pool shows Filigree Skimmers, the only known NM
      population of Leonora's Dancer our only listed and
      protected damselfly species. It is only one of 3 sites
      in North America where the Yellow-legged Ringtail,
      along with numerous dragonflies including the Gray-
      waisted Skimmer just found this Summer at the
      springs.
       
      Robert Larsen
      Roswell, New Mexico





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