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Dragonflies of Texas: A Field Guide

Field / Identification Guide
Including nearly half of all dragonfly species found in North America, here is the definitive field guide to the dragonflies of Texas, which will be a valuable resource for naturalists throughout the region

Series: Texas Natural History Guides

By: John C Abbott (Author)

448 pages, colour photos, b/w illustrations, colour distribution maps

University of Texas Press

Paperback | Mar 2015 | #221891 | ISBN-13: 9780292714489
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £20.99 $26/€24 approx

About this book

Dragonflies and damselflies (together known as Odonata) are among the most remarkably distinctive insects in their appearance and biology, and they have become some of the most popular creatures sought by avocational naturalists. Texas hosts 160 species of dragonflies, nearly half of the 327 species known in North America, making the state a particularly good place to observe dragonflies in their natural habitats.

Dragonflies of Texas is the definitive field guide to these insects. It covers all 160 species with in situ photographs and detailed anatomical images as needed. Each species is given a two-page spread that includes photographs of both sexes and known variations when possible, key features, a distribution map, identification, discussion of similar species, status in Texas, habitat, seasonality, and general comments. Many of the groups also have comparative plates that show anatomically distinctive characteristics. In addition to the species accounts, John Abbott discusses dragonfly anatomy, life history, conservation, names, and photography. He also provides information on species that may eventually be discovered in Texas, state and global conservation rankings, seasonality of all species in chronological order, and additional resources and publications on the identification of dragonflies.

"This is a very thorough and useful volume and is a must for any student of Texas dragonflies. It has more, better photos of Texas species by far than any other book available."
– Giff Beaton, author of Dragonflies and Damselflies of Georgia and the Southeast



    What Is a Dragonfly?
    Dragonfly Anatomy
    Life History of Dragonflies
    Texas Biotic Provinces
    Dragonfly Habitats
    Odonate Names
    Photographing Dragonflies
    The Value of Odonate Collections
    How to Identify Dragonflies
    How to Use the Species Accounts

Species Accounts

        Gray Petaltail (Tachopteryx thoreyi)
        Persephones Darner (Aeshna persephone)
        Shadow Darner (Aeshna umbrosa)
        Amazon Darner (Anax amazili)
        Blue-spotted Comet Darner (Anax concolor)
        Comet Darner (Anax longipes)
        Common Green Darner (Anax junius)
        Giant Darner (Anax walsinghami)
        Springtime Darner (Basiaeschna janata)
        Fawn Darner (Boyeria vinosa)
        Blue-faced Darner (Coryphaeschna adnexa)
        Regal Darner (Coryphaeschna ingens)
        Swamp Darner (Epiaeschna heros)
        Harlequin Darner (Gomphaeschna furcillata)
        Bar-sided Darner (Gynacantha mexicana)
        Cyrano Darner (Nasiaeschna pentacantha)
        Arroyo Darner (Rhionaeschna dugesi)
        Blue-eyed Darner (Rhionaeschna multicolor)
        Turquoise-tipped Darner (Rhionaeschna psilus)
        Caribbean Darner (Triacanthagyna caribbea)
        Pale-green Darner (Triacanthagyna septima)
        Broad-striped Forceptail (Aphylla angustifolia)
        Narrow-striped Forceptail (Aphylla protracta)
        Two-striped Forceptail (Aphylla williamsoni)
        Stillwater Clubtail (Arigomphus lentulus)
        Bayou Clubtail (Arigomphus maxwelli)
        Jade Clubtail (Arigomphus submedianus)
        Black-shouldered Spinyleg (Dromogomphus spinosus)
        Flag-tailed Spinyleg (Dromogomphus spoliatus)
        White-belted Ringtail (Erpetogomphus compositus)
        Eastern Ringtail (Erpetogomphus designatus)
        Dashed Ringtail (Erpetogomphus heterodon)
        Serpent Ringtail (Erpetogomphus lampropeltis)
        Blue-faced Ringtail (Erpetogomphus eutainia)
        Banner Clubtail (Gomphus apomyius)
        Plains Clubtail (Gomphus externus)
        Tamaulipan Clubtail (Gomphus gonzalezi)
        Cocoa Clubtail (Gomphus hybridus)
        Gulf Coast Clubtail (Gomphus modestus)
        Cobra Clubtail (Gomphus vastus)
        Ashy Clubtail (Gomphus lividus)
        Pronghorn Clubtail (Gomphus graslinellus)
        Sulphur-tipped Clubtail (Gomphus militaris)
        Oklahoma Clubtail (Gomphus oklahomensis)
        Dragonhunter (Hagenius brevistylus)
        Ringed Forceptail (Phyllocycla breviphylla)
        Five-striped Leaftail (Phyllogomphoides albrighti)
        Four-striped Leaftail (Phyllogomphoides stigmatus)
        Gray Sanddragon (Progomphus borealis)
        Common Sanddragon (Progomphus obscurus)
        Brimstone Clubtail (Stylurus intricatus)
        Lauras Clubtail (Stylurus laurae)
        Russet-tipped Clubtail (Stylurus plagiatus)
        Twin-spotted Spiketail (Cordulegaster maculata)
        Arrowhead Spiketail (Cordulegaster obliqua)
        Sarracenia Spiketail (Cordulegaster sarracenia)
        Stream Cruiser (Didymops transversa)
        Bronzed Cruiser (Macromia annulata)
        Swift River Cruiser (Macromia illinoiensis)
        Gilded River Cruiser (Macromia pacifica)
        Royal River Cruiser (Macromia taeniolata)
        Prince Baskettail (Epitheca princeps)
        Slender Baskettail (Epitheca costalis)
        Common Baskettail (Epitheca cynosura)
        Dot-winged Baskettail (Epitheca petechialis)
        Mantled Baskettail (Epitheca semiaquea)
        Robust Baskettail (Epitheca spinosa)
        Selyss Sundragon (Helocordulia selysii)
        Alabama Shadowdragon (Neurocordulia alabamensis)
        Smoky Shadowdragon (Neurocordulia molesta)
        Orange Shadowdragon (Neurocordulia xanthosoma)
        Fine-lined Emerald (Somatochlora filosa)
        Coppery Emerald (Somatochlora georgiana)
        Mocha Emerald (Somatochlora linearis)
        Texas Emerald (Somatochlora margarita)
        Clamp-tipped Emerald (Somatochlora tenebrosa)
        Red-tailed Pennant (Brachymesia furcata)
        Four-spotted Pennant (Brachymesia gravida)
        Tawny Pennant (Brachymesia herbida)
        Pale-faced Clubskimmer (Brechmorhoga mendax)
        Slender Clubskimmer (Brechmorhoga praecox)
        Gray-waisted Skimmer (Cannaphila insularis)
        Amandas Pennant (Celithemis amanda)
        Calico Pennant (Celithemis elisa)
        Halloween Pennant (Celithemis eponina)
        Banded Pennant (Celithemis fasciata)
        Ornate Pennant (Celithemis ornata)
        Double-ringed Pennant (Celithemis verna)
        Checkered Setwing (Dythemis fugax)
        Black Setwing (Dythemis nigrescens)
        Swift Setwing (Dythemis velox)
        Mayan Setwing (Dythemis maya)
        Western Pondhawk (Erythemis collocata)
        Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis)
        Great Pondhawk (Erythemis vesiculosa)
        Black Pondhawk (Erythemis attala)
        Pin-tailed Pondhawk (Erythemis plebeja)
        Claret Pondhawk (Erythemis mithroides)
        Flame-tailed Pondhawk (Erythemis peruviana)
        Seaside Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax berenice)
        Red-mantled Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax fervida)
        Plateau Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax basifusca)
        Red-faced Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax fusca)
        Little Blue Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax minuscula)
        Black-winged Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax funerea)
        Band-winged Dragonlet (Erythrdodiplax umbrata)
        Metallic Pennant (Idiataphe cubensis)
        Blue Corporal (Ladona deplanata)
        Golden-winged Skimmer (Libellula auripennis)
        Needhams Skimmer (Libellula needhami)
        Bar-winged Skimmer (Libellula axilena)
        Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta)
        Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans)
        Bleached Skimmer (Libellula composita)
        Comanche Skimmer (Libellula comanche)
        Spangled Skimmer (Libellula cyanea)
        Yellow-sided Skimmer (Libellula flavida)
        Neon Skimmer (Libellula croceipennis)
        Flame Skimmer (Libellula saturata)
        Red-mantled Skimmer (Libellula gaigei)
        Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa)
        Twelve-spotted Skimmer (Libellula pulchella)
        Painted Skimmer (Libellula semifasciata)
        Marl Pennant (Macrodiplax balteata)
        Ivory-striped Sylph (Macrothemis imitans)
        Straw-colored Sylph (Macrothemis inacuta)
        Jade-striped Sylph (Macrothemis inequiunguis)
        Hyacinth Glider (Miathyria marcella)
        Spot-tailed Dasher (Micrathyria aequalis)
        Three-striped Dasher (Micrathyria didyma)
        Caribbean Dasher (Micrathyria dissocians)
        Thornbush Dasher (Micrathyria hagenii)
        Carmine Skimmer (Orthemis discolor)
        Roseate Skimmer (Orthemis ferruginea)
        Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis)
        Red Rock Skimmer (Paltothemis lineatipes)
        Wandering Glider (Pantala flavescens)
        Spot-winged Glider (Pantala hymenaea)
        Slough Amberwing (Perithemis domitia)
        Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera)
        Mexican Scarlet-tail (Planiplax sanguiniventris)
        Common Whitetail (Plathemis lydia)
        Desert Whitetail (Plathemis subornata)
        Filigree Skimmer (Pseudoleon superbus)
        Variegated Meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum)
        Cardinal Meadowhawk (Sympetrum illotum)
        Blue-faced Meadowhawk (Sympetrum ambiguum)
        Cherry-faced Meadowhawk (Sympetrum internum)
        Striped Meadowhawk (Sympetrum pallipes)
        Band-winged Meadowhawk (Sympetrum semicinctum)
        Autumn Meadowhawk (Sympetrum vicinum)
        Arch-tipped Glider (Tauriphila argo)
        Aztec Glider (Tauriphila azteca)
        Evening Skimmer (Tholymis citrina)
        Vermilion Saddlebags (Tramea abdominalis)
        Antillean Saddlebags (Tramea insularis)
        Striped Saddlebags (Tramea calverti)
        Carolina Saddlebags (Tramea carolina)
        Red Saddlebags (Tramea onusta)
        Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata)

Appendix A. Species That May Eventually Occur in Texas
Appendix B. Conservation Status Ranks for Texas Dragonflies
Appendix C. Seasonality of Texas Dragonflies
Appendix D. Dragonfly Publications and Resources
Photographer Credits
Index of Common Names
Index of Scientific Names

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John C. Abbott is Director of St. Edward’s University Wild Basin Creative Research Center. He is the author of the companion book Damselflies of Texas: A Field Guide and the more specialized volume Dragonflies and Damselflies of Texas and the South-Central United States.

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