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Dragonflies and Damselflies of the West

Dragonflies and Damselflies of the West

Dennis Paulson
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 536
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  • Book Info
    Dragonflies and Damselflies of the West
    Book Description:

    Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Westis the first fully illustrated field guide to all 348 species of dragonflies and damselflies in western North America. Dragonflies and damselflies are large, stunningly beautiful insects, as readily observable as birds and butterflies. This unique guide makes identifying them easy--its compact size and user-friendly design make it the only guide you need in the field. Every species is generously illustrated with full-color photographs and a distribution map, and structural features are illustrated where they aid in-hand identification. Detailed species accounts include information on size, distribution, flight season, similar species, habitat, and natural history. Dennis Paulson's introduction provides an essential primer on the biology, natural history, and conservation of these important and fascinating insects, along with helpful tips on how to observe and photograph them.

    Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Westis the field guide naturalists, conservationists, and dragonfly enthusiasts have been waiting for.

    Covers all 348 western species in detailFeatures a wealth of color photographsProvides a color distribution map for every speciesIncludes helpful identification tipsServes as an essential introduction to dragonflies and their natural history

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-3294-1
    Subjects: Zoology, Biological Sciences

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. Preface
    (pp. 7-8)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 9-10)

    This book is a field guide to all the species of Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) in the western United States and Canada, west of the eastern boundaries of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Manitoba, and Nunavut. State and provincial boundaries were chosen rather than the exact middle of the continent because naturalists’ interests and odonate recordkeeping are typically at this level. Thus, many species that occur in the eastern portion of the West as defined here are very much allied with the moist and forested East, and any species that occurs no farther west than midcontinent should...

  5. Natural History of Odonates
    (pp. 11-40)

    Bird field guides normally do not discuss the general natural history of birds because that is so well known to naturalists in general and even to lay persons, and it may even not be necessary to know in order to identify the species. But dragonflies are less well known, and they are such interesting animals that all who observe them in the field should know something about their lives. Of course, because they have a larval stage, much of what is important about them goes on out of sight of the usual observer.

    Dragonflies perch in many ways, as can...

  6. Damselflies Zygoptera
    (pp. 41-190)

    Large, showy damselflies of this family often display metallic bodies and/or colored wings. They are distinguished from other North American damselflies by broad wings with dense venation and no hint of the narrow petiole or “stalk” at the base that characterizes the other families. The nodus lies well out on the wing with numerous crossveins basal to it. Colored wings in this family are heavily involved in displays between males and of males to females. This is the only damselfly family in which individuals point abdomen toward the sun (obelisking) at high temperatures. Closed wings are held either on one...

  7. Dragonflies Anisoptera
    (pp. 191-518)

    These dragonflies are often considered the most primitive living odonates. They are characterized by large size, very long stigmas, somewhat clubtail-like small eyes (but brown, not green or blue), camouflage colors, and semiterrestrial larvae that live in mud or burrows and forage at night on terrestrial insects and spiders. Broad, petal-like cerci of males of the Australian species have given the family its scientific and common names. Females have ovipositors like those of darners but unlike other North American dragonflies. Different authors have placed them at the base of dragonfly evolution or in a slightly more advanced group together with...

  8. Species Added to the Western Fauna in 2008
    (pp. 519-520)

    The year 2008 proved again that there is a steady northward trickle, even a flow, of tropical species from Mexico into the United States. Six species were newly recorded from the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, four of them new for North America north of Mexico, and there was another new record for the United States in southern Arizona. This brief account may assist in their identification when they are found again.

    Males of this woodland-based species have the thorax mostly bright blue, with broad black median and humeral stripes. Only S9 becomes pruinose, a good mark. Some females...

  9. Appendix: Dragonfly Publications and Resources
    (pp. 521-522)
  10. Glossary
    (pp. 523-526)
  11. Index
    (pp. 527-535)