Dragonflies and Damselflies

Links and Bibliography

Although there are many sites on the web with links to pages relating to dragonflies, few of them concentrate on British and European links. So that is what I am providing here. If you have a web page that has information relating to British dragonflies and would like a link to appear here please email me (my address is at the bottom of the page).

There are several useful books about British and European dragonflies. I have been asked to recommend reading several times. Here is a bibliography which may satisfy this demand.


Britain and Ireland

  • British Dragonfly Society - The home pages of the BDS.
  • DragonflyIreland project - This superb site has a wealth of information and excellent photographs of Dragonflies and Damselflies in Ireland. The photos are by Robert Thompson and include several pictures of larvae.
  • Cheshire Dragonflies - Provides information and status of Odonata in the County of Cheshire and also the Wirral.
  • Hertfordshire Dragonfly Group - A county recording groups site.
  • Lincolnshire Naturalists Trust - This is a comprehensive wildlife site covering all aspects of the Trust's work in Lincolnshire. There is a section devoted to Odonata.
  • Moorhen - This is a general site covering the species found in the site owners garden. Some very good photos of Dragonflies in flight together with photos of other natural history subjects.
  • The Dragonfly Project - Formerly the National Dragonfly Museum. See their site for latest news on finding a permanent home.
  • Potteric Carr Nature Reserve Home Page - An interesting site describing a nature reserve near Doncaster. Good section on Odonata.


  • Holland - Dragonflies and Damselflies of Europe is a pretty comprehensive site on european Odonata with many species photos.
  • Swedish Dragonflies
  • Odonata of Finland - Comprehensive entomological database with taxonomy/phylogeny charts and photos.
  • France - SFOWEB - Société Française d'Odonatologie - French national dragonfly society.
  • Germany - Odonatology website

    Rest of the World!

  • For excellent pictures and information about North American Odonata try Ode News. This is a very interesting site which also has the best set of links for Odonata related web pages I have found.


    The books listed below are those of which I have first hand knowledge or which have been recommended to me. If you know of other books which are worthy of inclusion (particularly those published by local organisations) please email me (my address is at the bottom of the page). Some of the books listed are no longer in print but should be available from your library.


    Corbet, Philip S., Dragonflies, Behaviour and Ecology of Odonata, 1999 (Harley Books).
    This is the book for people seriously interested in studying dragonflies.in it, the author provides a critical review of published and unpublished works relating to the behaviour and ecology of Odonata. It is without doubt the most comprehensive work about dragonflies available. Highly recommended.

    Silsby, Jill, Dragonflies of the world, 2001 (Natural History Museum).
    The first book to cover Odonata worldwide. At least one species is described from each of the 73 sub-families of dragonflies. There are many good photos and contributions from guest authors such as Georg Rüppell and Norman Moore.

    Lucas, M. Jill, Spinning Jenny and Devil's Darning Needle, 2002 (M. Jill Lucas).
    A book about dragonflies and damselflies and their cultural association with man. There are chapters on Folklore, Literature, Art and Religion amongst others.


    Askew, R. R., The Dragonflies of Europe, 1988 (Harley Books).
    This large format, hardback book is the most comprehensive book available on European Odonata. If was written and illustrated by Richard Askew who is Reader in Entomology at the University of Manchester. The illustrations are excellent and the descriptions, maps and keys are well researched and informative. Highly recommended.

    Gibbons, R. B., Dragonflies and Damselflies of Britain and Northern Europe, 1986 (Country Life Books).
    A handbook sized field guide illustrated with photographs and describing over 75 British and European species. All the British species are shown and there is accompanying descriptive text but no distribution maps.

    Britain and Ireland

    Brooks, S., ill. by Lewington, R., Field Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Great Britain and Ireland, 1997 (British Wildlife Publishing)
    The latest (and currently greatest) field guide to the British species. Wonderfully illustrated with comprehensive descriptive notes written by contributors with expert knowledge of each individual species. There is also an introductory section covering life history, distribution, dragonfly habitats and dragonflies and the law, followed by twenty pages of regional guides to help enthusiasts find new sites to watch dragonflies. Very strongly recommended.

    Powell, Dan, A Guide to the Dragonflies of Great Britain, 1999 (Arlequin Press)
    A complementary field guide to the preceding one. This is illustrated with Dan Powell's own artwork showing the insects in lifelike postures. Great for getting the "jizz".

    Hammond, C. O., The Dragonflies of Great Britain and Ireland, 1983 (Harley Books)
    A painstakingly illustrated and scholarly work on all species found in Britain and Ireland including several of those now considered extinct. There are also good keys and distribution maps.

    McGeeney, Andrew, British Dragonflies, 1986 (Jonathan Cape)
    An excellent book covering all British species with many good photographs. Also keys to adults and larvae.

    Merritt, R., Moore, N. W. & Eversham, B. C., Atlas of the Dragonflies of Britain and Ireland, 1996 (HMSO)
    Comprehensive distribution maps, notes on identification, flight period and status for each species together with several photographs.

    British County and Regional Publications

    Averill, Mike, The Dragonflies of Worcestershire, 1996
    Fully illustrated with colour photographs, has distribution maps and comes with details of the best places to see dragonflies in the county. It is available from Mike Averill, 49 James Road, Kidderminster, Worcestershire DY10 2TR, price £10 plus £1 p&p (in the UK).

    Cham, Stephen, Bedfordshire Dragonflies - A Provisional Atlas of the Dragonflies of Bedfordshire, 1990 (Bedford Museum)
    This work describes the distribution and flight period of 24 species recorded from Bedfordshire.

    Gabb, R. & Kitching, D., The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Cheshire 1992 (National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside)
    Each of the species recorded from Cheshire is illustrated and field notes and status and distribution notes are given. There are also distribution maps and flight period details. Some photos.

    Mendel, H., Suffolk Dragonflies 1992 (Suffolk Naturalists' Society)
    Detailed hardback book describing all species found in Suffolk. Excellent photos and distribution maps.

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