Sympetrum fonscolombii… to John & Carol’s world of Odonata – dragonflies and damselflies.

Odonata is the scientific term for the order of insects comprising dragonflies (Anisoptera) and damselflies (Zygoptera). Odonata is sometimes Anglicized into “odonates” but it seems to be becoming more fashionable to use “dragonflies” as the collective English/common term forcing the rather ugly [my opinion] term “true dragonflies” to be used for, well, dragonflies. I stick to Odonata or Odos for short. Besides, the word lends itself to irresistible puns like “Odo-nutters” (us) and “Odo-natter” (the blog). 😯

In my view there are 45 species of breeding Odonata in the UK. According to Grand/Boudot, there are 89 in mainland France, i.e. within relatively easy and fun (for us) reach; we travel there often. Carol having caught the dragonfly bug as well – if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em – our catalogue outgrew our usual one page photo album, in addition to which I wanted to record other details, such as what species we’d seen where and flight periods. Hence this site dedicated purely to the delightful dragons and damsels.

Our Galleries section present a 1-page of all our damselflies and another 1-page summary for our dragonflies, mainly based on our better photographic efforts. It is English/common name based and enables paging through the various collections easily.

Our Species section dedicates a page to each species keyed by scientific/binomial names rather than English/common names. This decision was based on my hoping to see species further afield for which there may be no English name. [Fingers firmly crossed!]

4 comments on “Welcome
  1. Dick Askew says:

    Outstanding photos! Acquaintances of yours, Graham & Tricia [edited for privacy], on a visit here (Dordogne) yesterday, told me of your interest in dragonflies and directed me to this website. If you are ever in the region do call and see us (Graham can give you directions), or you might consider a dragonfly holiday based at Mauzac on the Dordogne led by myself and a colleague, David Simpson. The holiday is organized by Travelling Naturalist and details, including reports from previous years, are on the internet.
    Congratulations on your very fine pictures.
    Dick Askew

    • JC says:

      As the author of the seminal work, The Dragonflies of Europe (1988), Dick, I am honoured by your visit and your gracious comments. I can only try to imagine the amount of painstaking work in its production. Graham and Trish have mentioned seeing some of your personally drawn artwork in progress.

      Some years ago, Carol and I used to visit the Dordogne, normally staying at Cenac just below Sarlat-la-Canéda. However, those trips predated my obsession with Odonata so the Dordogne is an area that I need to revisit, from that viewpoint. If we do so. I will certainly try to say hello. It would be great to meet you.

      Thanks again for your kind comments.


  2. Janet Tierney says:

    While in the Loire valley, I found and photographed a dragonfly with a brilliant almost iridescent dark blue body. The tail is not banded, the wings are a black mesh. When flying, the insect looked dark blue. I have no idea what this could be (I haven’t found an image that looks anything like) and wondered if you can help? I would send you an image, but not sure how I upload it.

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