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Species Plathemis lydia - Common Whitetail

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Identification manual for the dragonfly larvae (Anisoptera) of Florida
By Richardson J.S.
Dept Envir. Prot., Tallahassee. 114 pp., 2003

A dazzle of dragonflies
By Mitchell F.L., Lasswell J.L.
Texas A&M University Press. 224 pp., 2005
Excellent popular book written by two experts, with emphasis on Texan fauna, full of magnificent photos and most helpful information. (Was a bargain at B&N, too, when I bought it a couple of years ago.)

Dragonfly Genera of the New World
By Rosser W. Garrison, Natalia von Ellenrieder, Jerry A. Louton
Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006
The subtitle is an accurate description: "An illustrated and annotated key to the Anisoptera." The book is a key to the 195 dragonfly genera of the New World. The description of each genus includes drawings, distribution map, list of species with state of classification, a brief description of the genus, and references to literature on individual species.

While the entire hemisphere is treated, the authors consider the book most valuable as a guide to the diverse and obscure drangonflies of the tropics and South America.

A limited preview is available on

Dragonflies of North America, revised edition
By James G. Needham, Minter J. Westfall, Jr., Michael L. May
Scientific Publishers, Inc., 2000
This tricky-to-find, heavy, and expensive book is the definitive book on North American dragonflies. All the Anisoptera of the U.S., Canada, the Greater Antilles, and the northern tier of Mexican states are covered. Not the kind of hefty book one would use as a field guide (although I do carry it in a backpack sometimes), but there are several important features that make this guide absolutely indispensible to anyone serious about dragonfly identification:

-Names, detailed descriptions, and illustrations for all the external features of a dragonfly adult and larva (including detailed diagrams of wing venation, thoracic patterns, and genitalia)

Dragonflies of the North Woods
By Kurt Mead
Adventure Publications, 2003
Kurt's book is very useful for us here in the northern midwest. Excellent work on Aeshna and Somatochlora, among others.

Field Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Massachusetts
By Blair Nikula, Jennifer L. Loose, Matthew R. Burne
Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, 2003
Wonderful photographic guide. For nearly every species, it has two large photographs, one of the male and one of the female. Lots of neat features, including a page of side-by-side comparisons of darners' lateral thoracic stripes.

Dragonflies of Indiana
By James R. Curry
Indiana Academy of Science, 2001
Best book for the midwest; dragonflies only, no damsels.

Dragonflies Through Binoculars: A Field Guide to Dragonflies of North America
By Sidney W. Dunkle
Oxford Press, 2000

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