The project began officially in 1991, with funding by the state income tax check-off program of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife. A committee of six individuals initiated the project: Robert Alrutz, Denison University; John Bater, The Ohio State University, Columbus; Robert C. Glotzhober (project coordinator), Ohio Historical Society; Susan E. Heady, The Ohio State University, Wooster, and Stone Lab; Dwight Moody, University of Findlay; and Robert A. Restifo, Vector-Borne Disease Unit, Ohio Department of Health. This group sought (and continues to seek) a wide group of volunteer assistants. These volunteers include professional biologists, naturalists, teachers, students, and numerous amateur naturalists from many walks of life. Soliciting, training, and coordinating the volunteers has taken a major effort, but the data they have produced have been very valuable. Most volunteers collect and preserve specimens and record the appropriate data. Some identify the specimens to family, some to genus or beyond, but ultimately the specimens are identified to species or subspecies level by members of the committee.
Currently the survey has over 80 individuals on its mailing list, and one-third to one-half of these actively collect. Since the beginning of the project, the survey has added five species to the Ohio list, which now totals 157 species. Out of these five, one is a new species of Macromia, which will soon be described and named by Carl Cook. The project has also added hundreds of new county records, greatly expanding our knowledge of the distribution of species within the state. During several seasons, we placed an emphasis on bogs, fens, and state scenic rivers— because these types of habitats appear to hold the rarest of Ohio's species. The committee members have produced a set of photocopied "Targeted Species Fact Sheets" to guide volunteers in their efforts to locate species that are either rare or poorly known. These sheets have rewarded us by leading to new locations for several species which were previously known from only one or two small sites. In addition to sampling current populations, the survey is building a database of Odonata from field work and from existing collections. Specimens at several museums in the state date back to 1897. Currently the database holds over 25,000 records and provides a valuable tool to look at past and current distribution, flight dates, and other information.
The survey workers are currently preparing a final report, though several interim publications have been, and will continue to be published. We are always interested in obtaining help and information from additional workers. If you know of an existing collection that we have not yet examined, would like to assist in the field work, or have questions about the project, please contact Bob Glotzhober at the Ohio Historical Society in Columbus at phone number (614) 297-2633 or fax (614) 297-2411.
In 1997, the Survey took a major step and became the Ohio Odonata Society. The Society will continue the work of the Survey after the Survey officially ends. Membership in the Society is open to anyone interested in Odonata (who pays the minimal dues). Yearly meetings of the Society are a combination of news, reports, business and workshop, and are designed to have something for everyone from beginner to "expert". Please contact the secretary-treasurer for more information on becoming a member of the Ohio Odonata Society.
Special: See collection records of top Ohio Odonata collectors!