28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
By far the best identification guide currently available for the dragonflies of Europe.,
This review is from: Field Guide to the Dragonflies of Britain and Europe (Paperback)
Anyone travelling in Europe, and interested in identifying the dragonflies and damselflies they see, should get their hands on a copy of this book. (If there is a better guide to the Odonata of the region it has not been published in English!).
However,if you are new to dragonfly identification, and likely to do most of your dragonfly watching in Britain, I would recommend starting with a guide which covers fewer species (Field Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Great Britain and Ireland by S. Brooks, or Britains Dragonflies by D. Smallshire and A. Swalsh) - these cover all the species you are likely to see, are less confusing to learn from, and the information (eg. flight periods) is more relevant to Britain!
This book has a short introductory section providing all the information needed to enable readers to make full use of the species accounts which make up the main body of the book. A 22 page 'regional guide' gives some idea of the best sites or regions to visit, although this is not intended as a precise guide to where specific species may be found.
The species accounts feature superb illustrations with the addition of high quality photographs of many species increasing the overall appeal of the book. The text identifies which identification features are visible in the field, as well as highlighting details which may need to be checked 'in the hand' for positive identification. There are a number of tables to help with identification to families/ genera, and also to make the seperation of similar species clearer.
The English names given to each species may seem a bit strange, with Emerald Damselflies changed to 'Spreadwings' and the 'blue' damselflies called 'Bluets', (following nomenclature used in America). Other names changed to better apply to the species in Europe rather than Britain (eg Green-eyed Hawker instead of Norfolk Hawker). Names in common usage in Britain have been included underneath the chosen name though, and are also found in the index.
All in all, an excellent guide, and one which I will be getting a lot of use from!