Dragons and Damsels

Dragons and Damsels

An identification guide to the British and Irish Odonata

This is a comprehensive and user-friendly photographic identification guide to all species, sexes and forms of British and Irish dragon- and damselflies, with essential field notes and habitat photographs.



Author: Adrian Riley
Publisher: Brambleby Books
Year of Publication: 28 March 2020
Format and Pages: Paperback, 250pp, in colour throughout
ISBN: 978-1908241641
Retail Price: £22
Our Discount Price: £19.80

Sample text from Dragons and Damsels


Foreword Dr Pam Taylor



How to use this book

Systematic checklist and status of all species recorded in the British Isles


Chapter One: Species accounts of the resident Damselflies

Chapter Two: Identification of the resident Damselflies

Chapter Three: Species accounts of the resident Dragonflies

Chapter Four: Identification of the resident Dragonflies

Chapter Five: Potential colonists

Chapter Six: Review of scarce vagrants and extinct residents

Appendix I: Map of Vice-counties

References and further reading



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Reviews and readers' comments

In the main, most field guides follow the same pattern, with species accounts laid out in taxonomic sequence. The new guide by Adrian Riley does indeed have two chapters of species accounts covering damselflies and then dragonflies separately. Where this new guide differs, however, is in its approach to the identification of individual insects.

Again, damselflies and dragonflies have their own chapters, but within these, species are grouped according to their appearance, with males and females often treated separately due to their differing colours and patterns. This makes sense when you understand that early dragonfly observers actually thought that, for example, male and female Banded Demoiselles were of two different species because they looked so dissimilar.

Adrian Riley’s meticulous approach to each species, sex and colour-form throughout the book should leave no-one in doubt of an identification. There is no question at all that this new guide, with its fresh approach, detailed descriptions and clear photographs, will find a place on the bookshelf of many dragonfly watchers and recorders, no matter how experienced. – Dr Pam Taylor, British Dragonfly Society


The unique selling point of this excellent guide is that it is totally geared to making identification as easy as possible. It achieves this through a rather clever layout. The only other book on British and Irish dragonflies and damselflies on my shelf weighs in at 142 pages. Adrian Riley’s is more than 100 pages longer, and that’s a clue. Each species appears at least twice. After an introduction, instructions on how to make best use of the book, a systematic checklist of all species and forms, and a guide to anatomical features needed for identification, the main chapters begin.

I have not seen an identification guide quite like this before and I like it very much. I can’t wait to get out and try it. - Richard Harrington, Antenna, RES


… As might be expected from this author and this publisher, the book contains clear descriptions and excellent, relevant photographs, and I would highly recommend it to the general entomologist and the experienced odonatologist alike.  - Dafydd Lewis, AES


It's a *great* book! I'm so pleased I ordered a copy. It's going to make ID-ing the dragonflies and damselflies I see a lot easier!  Anneliese Emmans Dean, Poet and author


What a beautiful book! - Geoff B., a happy customer

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