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Field Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Great Britain and Ireland Paperback – Illustrated, 1 Apr 1997
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It is so much more than a field guide and if you only have one book on dragonflies, then this is the one ... This is the third revision and the best yet. The authors have thoroughly revised the guide with new text and photographs, particularly evident in the earlier sections, which neatly combine high quality photographs with line drawings and full colour illustrations ... Stunning illustrations ... It is the must-have book.' --Dragonfly News --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Steve Brooks, of the Natural History Museum, London, has published over 190 scientific papers and book chapters, many of them on dragonflies, and five books, including the New Naturalist volume Dragonflies with Philip Corbet. Steve is a founder member of the British Dragonfly Society (BDS), was a former editor of the Journal of the British Dragonfly Society, and currently serves on the BDS Conservation Committee. He is Associate Editor of Odonatologica and Journal of Paleolimnology.
Steve Cham has had a life long interest in all aspects of natural history and a passion for dragonflies from an early age. He has served as Vice-county recorder for Bedfordshire and was National Co-ordinator for the Dragonfly Recording Network after it transitioned from the Biological Records Centre at Monkswood and was one of the editors of the Atlas of Dragonflies in Britain and Ireland published in 2014. He is the author of a number of books on dragonflies, including the popular field guides to larvae and exuviae. Steve was elected to honorary membership of the NBN Trust in 2008 in recognition of his services to biological recording in the UK and awarded the Royal Entomological Society Marsh Award for Insect Conservation in 2011. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
I write as someone with a long-term interest in birds who has only focused on dragon- and damselflies since recently constructing a garden pond. Within weeks of its completion various damselflies appeared on the aquatic vegetation, and a dragonfly (broad-bodied chaser) appeared in the garden. I also noticed two species of damselfly--the beautiful and the banded demoiselles--by a stream that runs through our part of Surrey. This book is certainly adequate for identifying the species seen--not that it necessarily makes identification easy; as with birds the differences between species are sometimes subtle and there is variability within species. The book also addresses the tricky identification of the larvae of the different dragonfly species.
Richard Lewington's illustrations are crisp and pleasing throughout.
As well as the identification section the book contains excellent introductory chapters on the life history of dragonflies (which I found fascinating), dragonfly habitats, distribution and their legal status. I was surprised to read, for example, that Steve Brooks advises capturing specimens for identification--not something that would be seen in a book on British birds.
If I have one quibble, it is that a larger type size for the body text would have been better for this 160-page book.
All of the regular species, and most of the vagrants, that have been recorded in Britain are covered in the revised edition. (If you are thinking of buying a secondhand copy the 1st edition does not include the Small Red-eyed Damselfly, which was first recorded in Britain in 1999 and is now found at sites all over south-east England - and is still spreading).
Although the illustrations are the same as in the European Guide, each species is covered in slightly more detail with notes on 'Status & conservation' and 'Ecology and behaviour' included. Flight periods quoted refer to those recorded in Britain, rather than a broader period covering 'northern Europe' (or the whole of Europe), so give a more accurate indication of when each species is likely to be seen. The maps, although often slightly out of date because many species are gradually spreading northwards, are also more detailed as Britain is four times the size as in the European guide!
The book also includes brief descriptions of the life cycle of dragonflies, a key to the identification of larve, and a county by county round up of sites to visit (including OS grid references).
The text is very informative and I look forward to getting the most out of it this summer.