Cover

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Title page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. 3-6

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Foreword

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p. 7

Dragonflies are Rock-and-Roll insects. They are high-energy aerial predators that have all the raptorial appeal of birds of prey, the grace, agility and vibrancy of butterflies plus, for those with patience enough to sit and watch the water on a still and sunny summer's day (and, let's face it, what better place to be and what better occupation?), they have the 'watchability' that is second to none in the insect world. ...

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Introduction

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pp. 8-9

Dragonflies are stunning and amazing insects! They are often very brightly coloured, kill for a living and have phenomenal powers of sight, flight and manoeuvrability. Some are large, though none as big as the one-metre wingspan giant Protodonata that flew some 325 million years ago. ...

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Dragonfly Biology

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pp. 10-20

The illustration opposite summarises the life-cycle of a Dragonfly, and more detalied information on the egg, larval, emergence and adult stages is given in this section. ...

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Where to Look for Dragonflies

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pp. 21-33

The habitats favoured by breeding Dragonflies in Britain and Ireland can be broadly subdivided into eight categories: lake, pond, river, stream, canal, ditch, bog and flush Each is illustrated in this section and the typical species that are likely to be found are listed ...

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Watching and Photographing Dragonflies

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pp. 34-35

Fine weather is usually needed for field visits, especially to see territorial dragonflies, which fly mainly when the sun shines. When it is very hot, however, dragonflies can be too active to be viewed well, and may even retire to shade. Sometimes, the best views can be had outside the main period of activity, which is usually between about 10 a.m. ...

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How to Identify Dragonflies

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pp. 36-57

The key to learning how to identify any group of species is first to gain a good knowledge of the commoner species. Although there are relatively few species to worry about in Britain, this does not mean that there is no scope for confusion – the variations in colour related to age and sex can be confusing for beginner and expert alike! ...

Glossary

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p. 58

The Species Accounts

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p. 59

Breeding Species

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Damselflies (Zygoptera)

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pp. 60-98

A common large and conspicuous damselfly that is typical of fast-flowing waters in southern and western Britain. Living up to its common name, it presents a dazzling spectacle that greatly enhances the rivers and streams that it inhabits. ...

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Dragonflies (Anisoptera)

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pp. 99-151

The smallest hawker, flying in May and June before the peak emergence of other hawkers. It is found sparingly at unpolluted waters with luxuriant vegetation, mostly in the southern half of Britain and across much of Ireland. ...

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Former Breeders (†), Vagrants and Potential Vagrants (*)

This section includes detailed accounts for the two species that formerly bred in Britain but were lost in the 1950s and 1960s (Norfolk Damselfly and Orange-spotted Emerald) and eight species that have occurred as vagrants on only a small number of occasions.  ...

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Damselflies (Zygoptera)

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pp. 154-161

True to its name, this species is slightly more delicate than Emerald Damselfly. ...

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Dragonflies (Anisoptera)

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pp. 162-187

The erratic occurrences of this wanderer from arid lands have often been associated with the arrival of winds from the Sahara. ...

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Introduced exotic species

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pp. 188-189

Thirteen species – five damselflies and eight dragonflies – have been recorded in Britain only as a result of accidental introductions, either as eggs or larvae in imported aquatic plants These species have been included in this book to increase awareness that further potential confusion species could be encountered. ...

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Identification of larvae and exuviae

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pp. 190-211

Most people who become interested in dragonflies do so through a fascination with the adult forms, rather than larvae. For this reason, the main focus of this book is on adult identification. ...

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Conservation status and legislation

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pp. 212-215

A significant number of the Dragonfly species in Britain and Ireland are rare or highly localized. As a consequence, many are of conservation concern and those that are particularly at risk are afforded legislative protection, including through requirements to conserve their habitats. ...

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British Dragonfly Society

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p. 216

The British Dragonfly Society (BDS) was formed in 1983 to promote and encourage the study and conservation of dragonflies and their natural habitats. Through its various committees, local groups and members, the Society is the principal body overseeing the study, recording, conservation and education effort focussed on Dragonflies in Britain. ...

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Dragonfly recording and monitoring

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pp. 216-217

Britain and Ireland have a long and enviable history of biological recording. This has been firmly based on harnessing the enthusiasm and expertise of volunteers, such as Dragonfly recorders, who can play a major role in converting their field observations into scientific knowledge and conservation action. ...

Further reading

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p. 218

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Acknowledgements and photographic credits

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pp. 219-221

Many people have contributed to the production of this book and our sincere thanks go to all. It is our intention that everyone who has contributed is named in this section, but if we have inadvertently missed anyone we can only apologise. ...

Index of English and scientific names

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pp. 222-224