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Field Guide to the Dragonflies & Damselflies of Great Britain and Ireland

Field / Identification GuideWildlife GuideIdentification Key
Illustrated with more than 270 superbly detailed colour artworks, plus many additional line artworks
More than 50 colour photographs
Full descriptions and ecological notes and distribution maps for the 39 resident (plus 3 extinct) species and 13 migrants
Comprehensive introduction includes sections on the fossil record, world perspective, biology, flight, life history, distribution, habitats and dragonflies and the law
Illustrated keys to both adults and larvae
Information on creating ponds for dragonflies, conservation, field craft and study
Site guide to the best places to watch dragonflies throughout Britain and Ireland, compiled by regional experts

By: Steve Brooks (Author), Steve Cham (Author), Richard Lewington (Illustrator)

192 pages, 50+ colour photos, 270+ colour illustrations, b/w illustrations, colour distribution maps

British Wildlife Publishing

Paperback | Nov 2014 | Edition: 5 | #215504 | ISBN-13: 9780956490285
Availability: In stock
NHBS Price: £18.95 $23/€21 approx

About this book

Shortlisted for the 1998 BP Natural World Book, this highly successful title is widely considered as the definitive guide to the dragonflies and damselflies found in Britain and Ireland. This bestseller in its field has been revised and updated to include recent additions to the British list, ensuring it is up to date and lives up to its reputation of being the best guide on the subject.

The comprehensive species descriptions, written by a team of UK experts, include field characters, jizz and similar species, status and conservation, ecology and behaviour, including habitat, larval form, flight season, feeding, territorial and mating behaviour. The superbly detailed artworks by Europe's leading entomological artist, Richard Lewington, include males and females, immature and over mature forms, as well as dorsal views and details of diagnostic features, making identification much easier.

Please note, for those left wondering why the sudden jump from a 2nd to a 5th edition, the publisher informed us that the 2nd edition was revised twice, in 2002 and 2004, though these were not counted as editions. The current revision added so much new material that the publisher decided to consider it a new edition and, retrospectively, count the previous two revisions as editions proper.

"[...] Previous versions of Dragonflies & Damselflies have been much celebrated; indeed, the 2002 edition was shortlisted for the Natural World book prize that year. After a dynamic ten years in which there was great change for the status of many British dragonflies, it's excellent to see a comprehensively updated, accurate and beautifully presented new edition released. There can be no question that this is the essential field guide for any British and Irish odonatologist."
- Josh Jones,, 28-01-2015

Related titles

See the previous edition

Field Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Great Britain and Ireland

Describes and illustrates all of Britain's 38 resident and 11 migrant...

NHBS Price: £18.95 $23/€21 approx


- Acknowledgements
- Introduction
- Life history
- Distribution
- Dragonfly habitats
- Dragonflies and the law
- Regional guides
- Identification
- Glossary
- Key to dragonfly larvae
- Family key to adult dragonflies
- Zygoptera Damselflies
- Calopterygidae Demoiselles
- Lestidae Emerald damselflies
- Platycnemididae White-legged damselflies
- Coenagrionidae Red damselflies and blue damselflies
- Anisoptera Dragonflies
- Aeshnidae Hawker dragonflies
- Gomphidae Club-tailed dragonflies
- Cordulegastridae Golden-ringed dragonflies
- Corduliidae Emerald dragonflies
- Libellulidae Chaser, skimmer and darter dragonflies
- Further reading
- Addresses
- Checklist
- Index

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Steve Brooks has had an interest in dragonflies since he was young. He was impressed by the voracity of dragonfly larvae which ate everything else in the jam jar he had filled after pond dipping trips with his Dad, and by the spectacle of the adult dragonflies later emerging during the night from those same jars lined up on his bedroom windowsill. Steve has been fortunate to pursue this interest in his professional career as a specialist in freshwater insects and environmental change at the Natural History Museum in London. Steve has published over 190 scientific papers and book chapters, many of them on dragonflies, and five books, including the New Naturalist volume Dragonflies with Philip Corbet. Steve is a founder member of the British Dragonfly Society (BDS), was a former editor of the Journal of the British Dragonfly Society, and currently serves on the BDS Conservation Committee. He is Associate Editor of Odonatologica and Journal of Paleolimnology.

Steve Cham has had a life long interest in all aspects of natural history and a passion for dragonflies from an early age. He has served as Vice-county recorder for Bedfordshire and was National Co-ordinator for the Dragonfly Recording Network after it transitioned from the Biological Records Centre at Monkswood and was one of the editors of the Atlas of Dragonflies in Britain and Ireland published in 2014. He is the author of a number of books on dragonflies, including the popular field guides to larvae and exuviae. Steve was elected to honorary membership of the NBN Trust in 2008 in recognition of his services to biological recording in the UK and awarded the Royal Entomological Society Marsh Award for Insect Conservation in 2011.

Over almost forty years, Richard Lewington has built up a reputation as one of Europe's finest wildlife illustrators. He first became interested in butterflies as a child when he inherited a cabinet of insects from his father. He studied graphic design at the Berkshire College of Art, and since leaving in 1971 has specialised in natural-history illustration. His meticulous paintings of insects and other wildlife are the mainstay of many of the modern classics of field-guide art, including Insects of Britain and Western Europe, Collins Butterfly Guide, Field Guide to Dragonflies of Britain and Europe, Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland, Pocket Guide to Butterflies of Britain and Ireland and Guide to Garden Wildlife. He was, for many years, the principal artist on the multi-volume series, The Moths and Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland. He has also designed and illustrated wildlife stamps for a number of countries, including a set of ten stamps of British butterflies for Royal Mail in 2013.

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