Books: Australia

The Complete Field Guide to Dragonflies of Australia (G. Theischinger & J. Hawking)
“Complete” in that it covers all 324 recorded species in Australia. However, in many respects it is far from complete. It is a photographic field guide but many of the photographs of dead museum specimens that have clearly been “collected” and distorted in the paper envelopes that odonatologists tend to use. These look of somewhat limited use when it comes to identifying the live creatures. There are rarely photographs of both male and female, sometimes of female only, which isn’t very helpful, either, and many of these images are of poor quality. To be fair, it was published in 2006 but there are so many far better digital images available now that it could be done much better. There are line drawings of critical features to supplement the photos, though the descriptive vocabulary takes a bit of cracking. Here’s something I’d call a large omission: there is no flight season information.
It’s undoubtedly the weakest dragonfly field guide I’ve ever used but currently, it’s all we’ve got available.
ISBN: 0-643-09073-8 (Paperback)