- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (April 29 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316816795
- ISBN-13: 978-0316816793
- Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 1.3 x 17.8 cm
- Shipping Weight: 227 g
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #383,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Stokes Beginner's Guide to Dragonflies Paperback – Apr 29 2002
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About the Author
Acclaimed bird and nature authorities, Donald and Lillian Stokes have written more than 22 books. They divide their time between Carlisle, Massachusetts, and Sanibel, Florida.
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Mr. Mitchell taught me that Dragonfiles can drown in deep water if they try to take a drink, and that Dragonflies, Damselflies and Butterflies all need shallow water. That's why you see them hovering over mud puddles and why every bird bath needs a shallow spot. In Mr. Mitchell's garden, the Dragonflies drank from the leaves on his water lillies. If you plant water lillies, you will see a Dragonfly or two or three.
The BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO DRAGONFLIES is destined to help me help my granddaughters develop an appreciation of Dragonfiles and Damselflies. According to authors Nikula, Sones, and Stokes, the major differences between the two are wing shapes, wing positions, eye positions, overall appearance and flight style. Some of the photos even depict Dragonflies that might be confused with Butterflies. We are going to learn about: 'Cruisers', 'Spiketails', 'Clubtails', 'Petaltails'
and a whole lot more. Seems that pretty neon blue insect I've seen hovering over the pond may be a 'Pond Damsel.'
Each of the illustrated "Identification" pages in DRAGONFLIES contains a photograph and text description of the fly and a map of Northern America depicting the range of the insect in question. Each map shows the entire country plus Canada. The pages of the book are color coded by family type so you can link the Dragonfly or Damselfly to it's family. Get this book and enjoy the summer fun.
A few pages in the front of the book give brief background information on dragonflies, and on equipment and strategies for observing them in the field. Then you go to page after page of species descriptions. Important identification information is given for each species, and at least one (sometimes more when appropriate) photo. The photos are usually of good quality both as photos and as identification aids.
A key in the inside cover of the book helps you pick out characteristics of a dragonfly you are observing, and the key then points you to the appropriate pages in the book using a color tab system.
I compared copies in hand of this book, and its chief competitor, DRAGONFLIES THROUGH BINOCULARS. I felt this book would be more useful in the field, so I ordered this one from Amazon.com, not the binoculars book. That's the best testimony I can give. I've since read and begun to use the book, and I am happy with my choice.
Only downside to this book is that it may tempt you to order one of the larger, more in-depth books on dragonflies, which are quite expensive!
First, the inside cover has a quick identification table that helps you determine the family of dragonfly or damselfly right away. Then using the color coding in the book, you can flip right to the section for that family. If that's not enough, there is another page inside that steps you through how to make the identification. In other words, what you should look for first, then next, and so on.
There is also information on anatomy, behavior, life cycle, development, feeding habits and migration. And if you don't learn enough here, they've included a list of resources to learn more.
The illustrations are larger than some guides and very clear.
This easy to use guide includes "over 100 of the approximately 435 North American species"--some of the "most common, widespread and conspicuous," and does include representatives from each family.
It even suggests how best to spend your time in the field. So get your guide and get out and identify dragonflies.
1. It only contains dragonflies from North America.
This is truuuly indispensable to someone living in Australia.
2. The size. It is a lot smaller than I expected at only 4.5 x 7".
3. If you're more interested in general dragonfly facts, get the other book "Dragonflies of the world" instead, for it contains fascinating information on dragonfly flight behaviour, larval stages, camoflage, temperature regulation, etc.
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