Gloriously comprehensive book on these beautiful creatures.
I have mostly been interested in butterflies until a recent expedition to a watery park in Sussex, where I found myself surrounded by dragonflies (or possibly damselflies as I found out from this book...) and took some (to my eyes) beautiful photographs of these delicate creatures.
I trekked through the Amazon suggestions for a book on dragonflies - and this was one of the top two books recommended.
Then I noticed that the artist is the amazing Richard Lewington (of butterfly fame - check out the seminal "Butterflies of Britain and Ireland") so that made my choice for me.
And I am not disappointed - lots of detail on the life cycle of these beauties, their habitats and page after page of pictures and drawings of every single one found in our islands.
A whole new hobby :-)
on 14 June 2016
This book covers all British species of dragonfly and damselfly, including species now extinct and others known only as vagrants. Its illustrations (multiple views of each species) are excellent, with enough detail (and accompanying text) to satisfy the most rigorous observer, and the distribution maps are extremely useful for knowing whether a species is likely to occur in a particular area.
The descriptions are (necessarily) somewhat technical at times; users can expect to learn a number of new words... such as pterostigma, pruinescence, pronotum, etc... but a diagram and glossary are provided.
The only (minor) shortcoming is a lack of direct comparison between similar species. Though each species description does include a Similar Species section, a number of species could usefully be pictured side-by-side for purposes of immediately highlighting differences.