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ID 101 - An Introduction to Odonate Identification

Spangled SkimmerFor the novice, individual species of dragonflies and damselflies are notoriously difficult to identify. Whether viewing dragonflies and damselflies through binoculars or in-hand examination, you need to familiarize yourself with some of those distinctive characteristics found on the head, thorax and abdomen of your insect. Key areas in making identification may include color, patterns and shapes.

Not sure what all the parts of an Odonate are named?  Click Here

First, let's decide whether it is a dragonfly or damselfly. Not sure? Click Here

If you know for sure which it is, click either Dragonfly or Damselfly for more information on what to look for. We don't provide a key, but will give you pointers on what types of things to look for and make notes of.

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