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News Species Spotlight: Ringed boghaunter

MassWildlife's Species Spotlight for May is the ringed boghaunter! Learn about this elusive dragonfly, how MassWildlife biologists are working to protect this threatened species, and what you can do to help.
4/30/2020
  • Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
  • MassWildlife's Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program

Media Contact for Species Spotlight: Ringed boghaunter

Marion Larson, MassWildlife

Ringed boghaunter

The year 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act (MESA)! To celebrate, MassWildlife will be highlighting one rare species each month as a Species Spotlight. Through the implementation of MESA, MassWildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program conserves and protects the most vulnerable animals and plants of Massachusetts and the habitats upon which they depend. Stay up to date on how MassWildlife is celebrating this important milestone by visiting mass.gov/30MESA

Description

Common name: Ringed boghaunter
Scientific name: Williamsonia lintneri
Size: 1½ inches long with 1 inch wingspan
Range: Northeastern states from Maine to New Jersey and west in Michigan and Wisconsin
MA conservation status: Threatened
Federal conservation status: Not listed

Fun facts

  • Ringed boghaunters are often found near bogs and fens with acidic waters that contain sphagnum moss and areas of open water.

  • The fully aquatic nymph lives underwater for over a year.

  • In late April to early May they are one of the first dragonflies to emerge from the water as a winged adult.

  • Adults spend most of their time in woodlands basking in the sun and looking for small insects to feed on. 

  • Their dark coloration and low flight habit make this cryptic dragonfly one of the most difficult to find!

Threats and conservation

  • Degradation of relatively rare acidic bogs, fens, and surrounding uplands occupied by ringed boghaunters are the primary threat to its persistence.

  • MassWildlife continues to monitor the ringed boghaunter and work towards protecting its breeding wetlands from habitat alteration.​

How you can help

  • Report any observations of the ringed boghaunter to MassWildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP). Click here for instructions to submit rare species observations.
  • MassWildlife's NHESP is responsible for the conservation and protection of over 400 rare animals and plants, including the ringed boghaunter. NHESP's work is primarily funded through grants and donations from supportive citizens. Donate to NHESP today at mass.gov/support-nhesp.

Media Contact for Species Spotlight: Ringed boghaunter

Division of Fisheries and Wildlife 

MassWildlife is responsible for the conservation of freshwater fish and wildlife in the Commonwealth, including endangered plants and animals. MassWildlife restores, protects, and manages land for wildlife to thrive and for people to enjoy.

MassWildlife's Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program 

The Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program is responsible for the conservation and protection of hundreds of species that are not hunted, fished, trapped, or commercially harvested in the state, as well as the protection of the natural communities that make up their habitats.
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