This is not a comprehensive listing, consisting mainly of literature I was familiar
with prior to about 1990. Some of it has been superceded, certainly there
are more identification guides for Europe and other areas than
indicated here. The purpose of this listing is not to be a dragonfly research
bibliography. Items that would be of general interest to dragonfly enthusiasts such as
identification guides, organizations, articles in widely distributed magazines, research
projects, information requests, etc. are welcome especially for North America.
updated Sep 23, 1997 (updated SIO site and added Systematics group and WDA)
updated Sep 21, 1996 (added Westfall and May)
Dragonflies and Damselflies Home Page (lots of good stuff for North America)
Societas Internationalis Odonatologica
- publishes regular scientific journal, Odonatologica
- newletters for different regions (Canada - Walkeria, U.S. - Selysia)
- a number of special publications including:
- Current Topic in Dragonfly Biology by Philip S. Corbet 1984
- The Dragonflies of the World - a systematic list of the extant species of Odonata
vol 1 Zygoptera, Anisozygoptera by D. Allen, L.Davies and Pamela Tobin 1984
- Odonata at risk in conterminous United States and Canada - G.H.Bick 1983
Specialist Group for Systematic and
Phylogenetic Odonatology (electronic journal PETALURA, odonate bibliography)
Systematics of Odonata
World Dragonfly Association (link to Pheonix)
General (Biology, Life History, ...)
Biology of Odonata, Philip S. Corbet, Annual Reviews of Entomology vol 25 pg 189-217 1980
A Biology of Dragonflies, Philip S. Corbet, Classey 1983
Dragonflies, Philip S.Corbet, Cynthia Longfield, and N.W. Moore, Collins 1985
North American Identification Guides
Damselflies of North America
Minter J. Westfall and Mike L. May, Scientific Publishers Inc. 1996
Dragonflies of North America
James G. Needham and Minter J.Westfall, University of California Press 1954
The Odonata of Canada and Alaska in 3 volumes from University of Toronto Press
Vol 1 Zygoptera E.M.Walker 1953
Vol 2 Anisoptera E.M.Walker 1958
Vol 3 Anisoptera (superfamily Libelluloidea) E.M.Walker and P.S. Corbet 1978
was reprinted 1998
North American Field and Area Guides
In identifying dragonflies from their appearance, it is important to
remember that, in a number of common cases, especially for the damselflies, the males
and females look different. Also, sexually immature males sometimes lack the coloration
of fully mature males. These differences may or may not be indicated in general
insect field guides.
Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders
- I have an older edition.
- This is a good field guide to North American odonata but it is very limited.
- There are 36 pictures (some illustrative, some not so) of 34 species.
- The male Green Darner is shown twice, once with the full adult coloration.
- The Red Skimmer is shown twice, one appears to have just emerged.
- The Brown Darner appears to me to have been pinned to the branch.
- Does anyone how they picked out their common names?
Dragonflies of the Florida Peninsula, Bermuda, and the Bahamas (c 1989)
Damselflies of the Florida Peninsula, Bermuda, and the Bahamas (c 1990)
both by Sidney Dunkle
- Over 100 color photos are contained in each book (good value at about $15 US each).
- 94 dragonfly and 46 damselfly species are pictured in their living state.
- The photos are well labelled - males, females and immatures are identified.
- Most of the damselflies are shown in profile; some of the subtle differences in the
markings between species shown in the book and those illustrated with drawings elsewhere
may not be apparent.
- The text includes notes on identification, ecology and behaviour.
- About a third of the species shown are present in other regions of North America.
- Undoubtedly the best field guides for North American odonata, although not widely available.
- The common names presented are finally worthy of these magnificent insects.
The Dragonflies of British Columbia
Robert A. Cannings and Kathleen M. Stuart, B.C. Provincial Museum 1977
- lots of drawings, location maps, 254 pages
- out of print
Some European Identification and Field Guides
The Dragonflies of Great Britain and Ireland Cyril O. Hammond, revised by Robert
Merritt, Harley Books, 1983
excellent color drawings, details of nymphs, distribution maps in 10km squares
Numerous local publications for Great Britain including:
- Derbyshire Dragonflies, Roderick Dunn 1984
- West Wales Dragonflies,Stephen Coker and Tony Fox 1985 (includes maps, records)
- The Dragonflies of New Forest, Noelle and Tony Welstead 1984
- An Atlas of Oxfordshire Dragonflies, J.M Campbell 1983
Unsere Libellen, Gerhard Jurzitza, Franckh'sche Verlagshandlung, 1978
pretty good photos supplemented by text and drawings, 71 pages
A Field Guide to the Dragonflies of Britain, Europe and North Africa
J. d'Aguilar, J-L Dommanget and R. Prechac Collins 1986
Smithsonian, vol 27 No. 4 July 1996 page 70, Dragonflies... by Richard Conniff (wind tunnel picture)
Natural History, vol 93 No. 7 1984 page 32, Dragonfly Monopoly by Vicky McMillan
Canadian Geographic, vol 104 No. 3 1984 page 62, Dragonflies... by Bernard Jackson
British Dragonfly Society
- members include dedicated amateurs and professionals from all over the world
- publishes a regular journal
Please send any updates, additions or corrections to me
Ron Lyons (volunteer 1990-1999)
Chula Vista Nature Center, 1000 Gunpowder Point Drive, Chula Vista, CA 91910-1201