Kiowa Dancer, Argia immunda, moving westward?

The Kiowa Dancer in Arizona is a relatively widely distributed but local species that until recently had, however, not been found in the western half of the state, including in Maricopa County. This situation changed in 2010 when one individual was discovered at the Phoenix Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area (Robert Witzeman, personal communication). Following this discovery, in the past four years Kiowa Dancers have been noticed at three other Maricopa County locations (2011: Wild Horse Pass; 2013: Papago Park; 2014: Gilbert Water Ranch).

Kiowa Dancer, Argia immunda, at Gilbert Water Ranch (Gilbert, Maricopa Co.)

The Kiowa Dancer in Maricopa Co., AZ, remains a rare species, with only a handful of observations, only two of which in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

During a visit to the Gilbert Water Ranch in Gilbert on 19 April 2014, seven males (three of which shown below) plus one pair in tandem (see below) were seen along two artificial streams between ponds. These numbers represent the largest concentration of Kiowa Dancer individuals found to date in Maricopa Co. The observation of a pair in tandem is the first to suggest local breeding.

Mexican Amberwing, Perithemis intensa, in Maricopa Co., AZ: new early flying date for the state

The Mexican Amberwing, a common summer species in the Southwest half of Arizona, had until now not been observed in the state until 29 March (Tres Rio Wetlands, Phoenix, Maricopa Co., 2009). Three males of this species - one of which shown below - were found at the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area in Phoenix on 23 March 2014, thereby extending the flight period of the species in the state by almost one week.

Kiowa Dancer, Argia immunda, at Papago Park (Phoenix, Maricopa Co.)

he Kiowa Dancer in Arizona is a relatively common, but locally distributed species along rocky streams in multiple counties.

In the past few years the species has been observed several times at the Wild Horse Pass just South of Phoenix, but until now there was a single record within the Phoenix metropolitan area (R. Witzeman; Salt River, April 2010). A male was found on 6 November 2013 along a small artificial stream at the Phoenix Papago Park, thereby providing a second record for the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Tezpi Dancer, Argia tezpi, at Wild Horse Pass, Maricopa, AZ: fourth county record.

The Tezpi Dancer in Maricopa Co., AZ, remains a rare species with only three previous records - all between 2008 and 2013, in October and November, and at a same location - the Wild Horse Pass stream, where a male was present 13-17 October 2013.

Another male (pictures below) was found at Wild Horse Pass on 30 October 2013, providing a fourth county record for the species.

Individual variation in the humeral stripe of the Tarascan Dancer, Argia tarascana

Male dancers (Argias) in the Southwest USA vary considerably in size, color, and morphology, with the shape of terminal appendages, in particular, being characteristic of each species. Details of these appendages are, however, difficult to see well in field conditions and so identification often relies on the first two characters - body size and color. In predominantly blue species, special attention is due to the width and shape of the median and humeral (lateral) stripes as well as to the amount and shape of black markings on the abdominal segments.

Andromorph (blue form) female Pima Dancer, Argia pima, at Double R Canyon (Muleshoe Ranch), Cochise, AZ.

Some female dancers (Argia) regularly come in two forms: heteromorph (generally brown) and andromorph (male-like, oftentimes blue). This is not the case of the Pima Dancer, Argia pima, in which "lower sides of thorax may be bluish tinged, but bright andromorph not seen" (Paulson 2009).

On 19 October 2013 a bright blue female of this species was found at the Double R Canyon (Muleshoe Ranch, Cochise Co.; photos below), thereby apparently providing the first photographic evidence of female andromorphism in this species.

Mayan Setwing, Dythemis maya, at Muleshoe Ranch, Cochise, AZ: new late flying date for the state

The Mayan Setwing in Arizona is a rare species found for the most part along the Mexican border in Cochise, Graham, and Santa Cruz counties, plus one recent (2013) record in Pima county.

At least five males were present in Hot Springs Canyon, Muleshoe Ranch, Cochise Co., on 19 October 2013. This observation extends the known flying period of the species in the state by approximately one week. Four males seen that day are shown below.


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