Plants and Animals

Species of Concern

Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly

  • Common Name: Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly
  • Scientific Name: Somatachlora hineana
  • Distribution: Ozark marshes, fens and wet meadows
  • Classification: State and federal endangered
  • To learn more about endangered species: explore the links listed below.

This rare insect was discovered in 1999 by Linden Trial, a Conservation Department biologist. She was looking for interesting insects at a natural area in Reynolds County. Her discovery dramatically increased the known range of the dragonfly, which previously had been documented in only three states: Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois. Surveys for the species began in earnest following Linden’s discovery. Today, Hine’s emerald dragonfly is known from 30 locations and has been documented in 10 counties. In fact, Missouri can now boast to have the largest number of populations in the U.S. Loss of wetland habitat and impaired water quantity and quality are the most serious threats to this species’ survival. Wetland drainage and modification destroys habitat by covering or damaging suitable living sites and by reducing the flow of water that creates the marshy habitat where dragonfly larvae grow to maturity. Destruction of wetland habitat, along with the improper use or disposal of pesticides, motor oil and other chemicals, also can impair water quality. Individuals can protect habitat for Hine’s emerald dragonflies by fencing livestock out of marshy areas, keeping forage harvesting equipment away from wetland areas, and by leaving Ozark springs in a pristine condition. For more information, visit the links listed below.

Birders Track Climate Change

This effort taps bird watchers for scientific data.

“NestWatch,” a citizen-science project developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, is turning bird enthusiasts’ observations of nesting behavior into data that could shed light on climate change. Participants watch bird nests and collect information about species, number of eggs and young birds and habitat. They report their findings online. The program has the potential to gather more data than scientists alone could ever hope to collect. For information, the links listed below.

No Bull!

This frog is voracious, loquacious and delicious.

Given three words to describe the bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus), you might say “larger than life.” North America’s largest frog, it will eat just about anything smaller than it. Male bullfrogs’ lusty bass “jug-o-rum” mating call defines summer nights across most of Missouri. With a little help from human promoters who have transplanted

it far outside its original range, the bullfrog has shouldered aside smaller, less aggressive native amphibians in some parts of the western United States. It isn’t above eating the competition. Bullfrogs, in turn, are eaten by a variety of predators from snakes to humans, who hunt them at night with spears, pellet guns, fishing lures, bare hands and bright lights.