The book is a first of its kind, lavishly illustrated, and beautifully designed field guide which provides the first comprehensive overview of Odonata of the northwestern part of India, comprising two main geographic regions: the Himalayan range and the Gangetic Plain, as well as the west the arid zones of the Great Indian Desert or the Thar Desert. This field guide covers the states of Jammu-Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
A total of 162 species of damselflies (Zygoptera) and dragonflies (Anisoptera) are, described and illustrated in this field guide. The book includes in-depth details of general knowledge of dragonflies like anatomy, life history, behaviour, habitat, and an outline of the geography, ecology, and biogeography of Northwest India. An illustrated identification key to the 162 species has been provided. It is kept as simple as possible to help find the right family, genus, and species, supported by numerous drawings to show the meaning of the technical terms mentioned in the text.
The description of each family provides an introduction giving brief information about the worldwide distribution, and the status of that family within present Indian borders, followed by a basic overview of the general characteristics. The species account provides a general statement of a first impression of a species at a glance in the field, field characters; sometimes hand characters (illustrated in the identification keys), habits and behaviour, and habitat followed by a distribution (range, India, Northwest India), status and flight period. Distribution maps are shown for all species based on studied literature and authors’ field observations. Photographs show a male, female, and variations for most species and point out the main numbered characters to observe in the field. Illustrated throughout in colour over 500 colourful photos are neatly placed in this book. Common English names for families and species along with the scientific names have been provided.
Threats and conservation of Indian Odonata have been addressed in detail, dragonfly watching tips, an extensive glossary, literature, a checklist of damselflies and dragonflies of Northwest India and an index to English and scientific names have also been provided in the field guide.
This book is very comprehensive yet easy to use by beginners and experts alike. With the publication of this field guide, the author hopes to lay a foundation for future research and would help to raise local awareness about this group of freshwater species and will contribute to better protection and management of freshwater ecosystems and it is sure to lure new enthusiasts who wish to improve their knowledge of the order Odonata.
Dheerendra Singh has been studying and photographing dragonflies for more than a decade; with his interest in nature as a whole and dragonflies in particular he has developed himself into a keen Indian odonatologist and a field-expert in a short time.
His passion for these insects motivated him to visit many parts of India to study and observe these wonderful creatures. He has travelled extensively through north west India, to photograph the odonates and to gather information about their ecology and habitats. He has also visited many other regions and states of India like Goa, Kerala, Maharashtra and West Bengal and has participated actively in several dragonfly meetings and symposia, often giving lectures or oﬀering his expertise during field trips.
He is an active editorial board member of the Indian Dragonfly Society; he has published several papers on dragonflies in various journals and magazines and has recently authored a booklet titled Dragonflies and Damselflies (Odonata: Insecta) of Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India.