Dragonflies and Damselflies of Georgia and the Southeast

Giff Beaton

Stunning photography and easy-to-understand text to help you quickly identify more than 150 species


"Beaton's beautifully illustrated and authoritative book treats just the southeastern Odonata, but I would recommend it to dragonfly enthusiasts anywhere as a fine reference for this group of insects. Rich in information with a superb collection of photos, it belongs on every naturalist's bookshelf."
—Dennis Paulson, author of Dragonflies of Washington

"Dragonfly enthusiasts rejoice! With stunning photographs and a clear, concise text, Beaton has beautifully filled a large void in the burgeoning literature on these fascinating creatures. Dragonflies and Damselflies of Georgia and the Southeast sets a high standard and is a must-have guide for naturalists throughout the Southeast and beyond."
—Blair Nikula, co-author of Stokes' Beginner's Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies

"This book admirably covers the diverse dragonfly and damselfly fauna of the largest eastern state. Georgia's varied topography means that the book encompasses species of southern coastal habitats as well as those of the northern mountains. With its hundreds of beautiful photographs, thorough introductory chapters, illustrated key of families, and identification tips for the genus groups within each family, it will give readers their money's worth! With the guide to dragonfly and damselfly watching sites included, this book is likely to make Georgia a prime destination for watchers of these wonderful animals. In fact, it makes me want to make a tour of Georgia again myself."
—Sidney Dunkle, author of Dragonflies through Binoculars

"New regional odonate guides are appearing at a pace that's becoming difficult to keep up with. Latest, and one of the best, is this impressive work by Beaton, Georgia's leading odonatist. . . . A profusion of color photos, clear, succinct text, and a colorful, appealing design combine to make this guide both very attractive and eminently useful. . . . This is an excellent and superbly produced field guide . . . the wonderful photos alone make it a highly recommended purchase."
Ode News

"[W]ell laid out and aesthetically pleasing. . . . The photographs are excellent and reproduced at a size that will really make them useful to the reader. . . Beaton and the University of Georgia Press are to be applauded for producing such a beautiful and well organized field guide. . . . I encourage everyone who lives or plans on visiting the southeastern United States to be sure and pick this gem up."
Argia: Journal of the Dragonfly Society of the Americas

"This is the kind of book that could very well spin someone into a new hobby, but for sure it will at least help nature lovers learn more about and more deeply appreciate those mysterious, little species of odonata commonly called 'dragonflies' and 'damselflies.'"
Fayette Daily News

"Beaton's new book, published by the University of Georgia Press, fills a vital niche—the need for an easy-to-use guide for damselflies and dragonflies occurring in the state."
—Charles Seabrook, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution

"Covering more than150 species of Odonates found in Georgia, this beautifully illustrated guide will probably spend most of its life in your pack rather than on your bookshelf."
Southeastern Naturalist

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Visit any pond on a summer day and the air will be alive with dragonflies and damselflies--shimmering aerobatic daredevils that dart above the water and even into nearby fields and woodlands. Organized for easy use in the field, this abundantly illustrated guide, with more than 400 color photographs, is the first to cover Georgia's dragonflies and damselflies (odonates). It details more than 150 species--species that are also the ones most likely to be seen throughout the U.S. Southeast north of Florida.

The guide first explains dragonfly and damselfly body parts, taxonomy, life cycles, and habitats; discusses conservation issues; and offers tips on observing and photographing odonates. Later chapters, organized according to the ten odonate families, such as spreadwings, darners, spiketails, and emeralds, provide general family information followed by accounts of individual species. The beautifully illustrated species accounts describe general appearance and key identification features, distribution, habitats, life history and behavior, and conservation. Supplementary materials include suggestions for the best places to watch odonates in Georgia, a comparative listing of species' level of endangerment, and the date range during which each species can be seen.

Odonates are easy to find and observe, and because they display an astounding variety of colors, sizes, and behaviors, they are popular with birders, butterfly watchers, and other nature enthusiasts. This guide will be welcomed by everyone who wants to learn about odonates and their habitats and what can be done to help protect them.

Included in species accounts:

  • beautiful, detailed photos that show odonates from angles important to determining species, sex, or age
  • common and scientific names
  • important features for field identification, with tips on distinguishing between similar-looking species
  • typical behavior of the species, including breeding and feeding habits
  • occasional commentary on taxonomy or other notable features
  • colorful quick guide, with a range map, incidence information, sizing graphics, and flight period information

Additional features:

  • listing of twenty ideal sites around the state for odonate watching
  • notes on infrequently sighted species
  • ratings for each odonate's conservation status, from most critically imperiled to most stable species
  • chronological listing of flight dates
  • listing of additional resources: books, organizations, Web sites, and equipment suppliers
  • glossary and index
A Wormsloe Foundation Nature Book

Page count: 368 pp.
Trim size: 6 x 9


List price: $27.95

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Giff Beaton is active in several state birding organizations and is well known for his slide lectures and his photographs, which have appeared in many books and national magazines. Beaton is the author of Birding Georgia and coauthor of Birds of Georgia. He is a recipient of the Earle R. Greene Memorial Award of the Georgia Ornithological Society.