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More dragonflies than average reported in annual Reston count

Reston’s annual dragonfly count yielded higher than average numbers (via Utsav Srestha/Unsplash)

This year’s annual dragonfly count by Reston Association yielded higher than average numbers of the tiny critters.

Volunteer counters spotted 573 individual dragonflies from 16 species, the organization recently shared.

This is the first time the count tallied up more than 14 species since 2013, according to RA. Most of the dragonflies were called blue dashers, eastern amberwings and slaty skimmers. Some, like the dragonhunter, were seen for the first time since 2011.

But RA Chief Operating Officer Peter Lusk says that while the count was high, there was not a significant increase overall. Over the last 15 counts, there have been around 400 individual counts and 14 species, he said. There are 41 species of dragonfly in Reston.

“The number of species in Reston depends on many factors, including weather,” Lusk said by email. “The species identified this year indicates that despite a cool summer, Dragonfly numbers were not impacted, and our natural areas continue to support wildlife populations.”

The effort is led by staff and volunteers from the Walker Nature Center. Prior to the count, the center hosts a class to teach members about dragonflies.

Photo via Utsav Srestha/Unsplash