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Damselflies of Texas

Damselflies of Texas
A Field Guide

Here is the first field guide to the damselflies of Texas—which include more than half of all damselfly species found in North America—richly illustrated with digitally created images that show amazing details, as well as photos taken in the wild.

Series: Texas Natural History Guides™

May 2011
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292 pages | 4.5 x 7.25 | 632 color photos, 79 b&w illus., 80 maps, 4 tables |

On any warm summer day, you can easily observe damselflies around a vegetated pond or the rocks along the banks of a stream. Like the more familiar dragonfly, damselflies are among the most remarkably distinctive insects in their appearance and biology, and they have become one of the most popular creatures sought by avocational naturalists.

Damselflies of Texas is the first field guide dedicated specifically to the species found in Texas. It covers 77 of the 138 species of damselflies known in North America, making it a very useful guide for the entire United States. Each species account includes:

  • illustrations of as many forms (male, female, juvenile, mature, and color morphs) as possible
  • common and scientific names, with pronunciation
  • distribution map
  • key features
  • identifying characteristics
  • discussion of similar species
  • status in Texas
  • habitat, seasonality, and general comments

In addition to photographing damselflies in the wild, the author and illustrator have developed a new process for illustrating each species by scanning preserved specimens and digitally painting them. The resulting illustrations show detail that is not visible in photographs. The book also contains chapters on damselfly anatomy, life history, conservation, names, and photography, as well as a list of species that may eventually be discovered in Texas, state and global conservation rankings, seasonality of all species in chronological order, and additional resources and publications on the identification of damselflies.


Hamilton Book Award runner-up, The University of Texas

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
    • What Is a Damselfly?
    • Damselfly Anatomy
      • Head
      • Thorax
      • Wings
      • Abdomen
      • Sexes
      • Coloration
    • Life History of Damselflies
      • Egg
      • Nymph
      • Adult
      • Reproduction
      • Flight
      • Vision
    • Creating the Illustrations in the Book
    • Texas Biotic Provinces
    • Damselfly Habitats
    • Conservation
    • Odonate Names
    • Photographing Damselflies
    • The Value of Odonate Collections
    • How to Identify Damselflies
    • How to Use the Species Accounts
  • Species Accounts
    • Family Calopterygidae
    • Broad-winged Damselflies
      • Sparkling Jewelwing
      • Ebony Jewelwing
      • American Rubyspot
      • Canyon Rubyspot
      • Smoky Rubyspot
    • Family Lestidae
    • Spreadwings
      • Great Spreadwing
      • Plateau Spreadwing
      • Southern Spreadwing
      • Rainpool Spreadwing
      • Blue-striped Spreadwing
      • Elegant Spreadwing
      • Slender Spreadwing
      • Chalky Spreadwing
      • Lyre-tipped Spreadwing
      • Swamp Spreadwing
    • Family Protoneuridae
    • Threadtails
      • Coral-fronted Threadtail
      • Amelia's Threadtail
      • Orange-striped Threadtail
    • Family Coenagrionidae
    • Pond Damsels
      • Paiute Dancer
      • Blue-ringed Dancer
      • Blue-fronted Dancer
      • Powdered Dancer
      • Sooty Dancer
      • Golden-winged Dancer
      • Blue-tipped Dancer
      • Tezpi Dancer
      • Dusky Dancer
      • Comanche Dancer
      • Apache Dancer
      • Springwater Dancer
      • Seepage Dancer
      • Leonora's Dancer
      • Aztec Dancer
      • Variable Dancer
      • Lavender Dancer
      • Kiowa Dancer
      • Amethyst Dancer
      • Coppery Dancer
      • Fiery-eyed Dancer
      • Burgundy Bluet
      • Orange Bluet
      • Vesper Bluet
      • Alkali Bluet
      • Arroyo Bluet
      • Double-striped Bluet
      • Familiar Bluet
      • Atlantic Bluet
      • Big Bluet
      • Tule Bluet
      • Rainbow Bluet
      • Azure Bluet
      • Attenuated Bluet
      • Turquoise Bluet
      • Stream Bluet
      • Skimming Bluet
      • Slender Bluet
      • Neotropical Bluet
      • Caribbean Yellowface
      • Mexican Wedgetail
      • Painted Damsel
      • Rambur's Forktail
      • Desert Forktail
      • Eastern Forktail
      • Mexican Forktail
      • Plains Forktail
      • Black-fronted Forktail
      • Citrine Forktail
      • Lilypad Forktail
      • Fragile Forktail
      • Furtive Forktail
      • Cream-tipped Swampdamsel
      • Red-tipped Swampdamsel
      • Sphagnum Sprite
      • Southern Sprite
      • Everglades Sprite
      • Duckweed Firetail
      • Desert Firetail
  • Appendix A. Species That May Eventually Occur in Texas
  • Appendix B. Conservation Status Ranks for Texas Damselflies
  • Appendix C. Seasonality of Texas Damselflies
  • Appendix D. Damselfly Publications and Resources
  • Glossary
  • References
  • Indexes

John C. Abbott is Curator of Entomology for the Texas Natural Science Center at the University of Texas at Austin. He has published many papers on aquatic insects, including dragonflies and damselflies, and is the author of the more specialized volume Dragonflies and Damselflies of Texas and the South-Central United States.


Available for Kindle
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Available for Nook
Available on the Apple Store

This book may also be available on the following library platforms; check with your local library:
3M Cloud Library/bibliotheca