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Britain's Dragonflies: A Field Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of Britain and Ireland

Field / Identification GuideNew EditionSPECIAL OFFER

Series: Britain's Wildlife

By: Dave Smallshire(Author), Andy Swash(Author)

232 pages, 500+ colour photos, 550+ colour & b/w illustrations, 66 colour distribution maps


Paperback | waterproof PVC cover | Sep 2018 | Edition: 4 | #241652 | ISBN-13: 9780691181417
Available for pre-order: Due Sep 2018 Details
Pre-pub offer: £16.95 £18.99 (Save £2.04) $22/€19 approx

About this book

Britain's Dragonflies is the only comprehensive photographic field guide to the damselflies and dragonflies of Great Britain and Ireland. Written by two of Britain's foremost Dragonfly experts, this fully revised and updated fourth edition features hundreds of stunning images and identification charts covering all 57 resident, migrant and former breeding species, and six potential vagrants. Britain's Dragonflies focuses on the identification of both adults and larvae, highlighting the key features. Detailed species profiles provide concise information on identification, distribution, flight periods, behaviour, habitat, status and conservation. Other sections cover biology; how to watch, photograph, record and monitor Dragonflies; conservation status and legislation; and introduced exotic species.

This fourth edition – which has been redesigned, updated and expanded – features:
- Beautiful colour plates showing males, females, immatures and all colour forms for every species
- Over 500 stunning photographs, many of which are new, and more than 550 illustrations
- Up-to-date species profiles and distribution maps
- Detailed, easy-to-use identification charts for adults and larvae

" [...] As the blurb rightly claims, this is the 'only comprehensive field guide to damselflies and dragonflies of Britain and Ireland'. If this wasn't enough to convince you to purchase a copy, allow me to give a brief overview of what it offers as a publication. The guide begins with a 50-page introduction to Britain's Odonata: biology, ecology, where to look, and how to view, photograph and identify are all tackled brilliantly and will ensure just about anyone – no matter how inexperienced – is prepared to tackle these often tricky subjects when out in the field. It is actually this section that contains one of my favourite features of the guide: the adult identification charts. As many will agree, the identification of the various blue damselfly species is tricky to say the least, but the guide's easy-to-use charts and diagrams ensure that comparing them is an entertaining learning curve rather than the boggy chore it could so easily be – abdomen, thorax and pronotum differences are all laid out in an understandable (and crucially for field identification, memorable) format. The same applies for the thorax and abdomen of the various hawker species.

The species accounts themselves are set out with an impressive clarity – the text, sectioned into identification, behaviour, habitat and population/conservation, is offset by an unambiguous range map and a graph illustrating flight times. Updated content includes recent records of rarer species: the inclusion of 2012's two Yellow-spotted Whiteface records from Suffolk is one example that leaps out. The best bit, though, is the quality of photographs – each species is illustrated by at least one of each sex (as well as age/colour form variations where applicable), with over 450 throughout the guide. [...]"

- Josh Jones, 03-04-2014,

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Dave Smallshire is an ecologist, lecturer and wildlife tour guide, and plays an active role in the British Dragonfly Society. He formerly worked as an environmental adviser to the UK government.

Andy Swash is an ecologist, a renowned wildlife photographer and tour leader and managing director of WILDGuides. He is the coauthor of five other books in the WILDGuides Britain's Wildlife series, and has written and edited many other titles.

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