Gest post from Ph.D. candidate, Adam Hasik;
On Wednesday, May 24th I went to one of the fishless ponds north of Lake Wedington to collect odonates. While collecting in a small pond in a prairie I noticed an orange-colored teneral male damselfly near the water’s edge. Thinking it might be an Orange Bluet (Enallagma signatum, a species only found in lakes containing fish) I caught it to take a better look. When I took a closer look I noticed it was a Lestes species, and used my hand lens to check the cerci to verify if it was the same species I’d been seeing in the area all week (The Southern Spreadwing, Lestes australis). Both the top and side views of the cerci differed from the diagrams in my field guide, and I believed it to be a Lestes alacer, the Plateau Spreadwing. Northwestern Arkansas is outside of the normal range for this species, so I had one of the lab post-docs, Jason Bried, take a look as well. Jason agreed with my classification, and the sighting was submitted to Odonata Central for verification (OC #463128). This is the first recorded sighting of the Plateau Spreadwing in Arkansas, and one of the eastern-most sightings for the species. I spotted more teneral males the next day at the same pond, so it seems that there is a breeding population and not just a few strays blown in from Oklahoma in the recent storms; although that may be what happened last year, resulting in the current population.