Odonata in the Best of the Web Directory


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Odonata (order of insects) refers to the group of dragonflies (Anisoptera) and damselflies (Zygoptera). The term was coined from the Greek ?d??to? (?d???), odontos (tooth) apparently in reference to insects' teeth on their mandibles. While the word "dragonfly" is sometimes used to refer to all members of the Odonata order, "odonate" is the more preferred term as it also avoids ambiguity or clearly distinguishes the true dragonflies from the damselflies whose wings are held along while at rest.

Odonates have large (relative to their body size) well-developed compound eyes that make up the most of their heads. They have characteristic elongated abdomens and legs that they use to catch their food (prey, usually insects) while in flight. Their wings are long and transparent and they possess two ocelli and short antennae.

Odonates are described as aquatic insects. They live aquatic or semi-aquatic lives in the earlier parts of their life cycle. As adults, they are also most often seen near bodies of water. They are carnivorous insects that typically prey on other, albeit smaller, insects.

This category features various resource sites dealing with damselflies and dragonflies, including surveys, species profiles, images, and websites of enthusiasts or scientific groups and organizations.
  • A Selection of Massachusetts Dragonflies and Damselflies

    Features galleries of various Odonata insects along with field notes and related links.

  • All About Dragonflies

    Offers science and fun facts for dragonflies and damselflies.

  • Arizona Odonates

    Information about Arizona's damselflies, dragonflies, and other Odonata insects in the state of Arizona. With checklists and links to related resources.

  • Bedfordshire Odonata

    Presents photo galleries of Bedfordshire's damselflies and dragonflies, checklist, glossary, and related links.

  • Brisbane Insects and Spiders: Dragonflies and Damselflies

    Compiles pictures and information about dragonflies and damselflies in Brisbane, Queensland. Presents Odonata profiles.

  • British Dragonfly Society

    Organization promoting and encouraging the study and conservation of dragonflies and their natural habitats.

  • California Dragonflies and Damselflies

    Online California Odonata guide and companion site for the publication "Common Dragonflies of California, A Beginner's Pocket Guide".

  • Cheshire Dragonflies & Damselflies

    Presents information about the status of Odonata insects in Cheshire and Wirral. Includes recordings and comments as well as details of recent sightings.

  • Dragonflies of Alaska

    Provides information about Alaska's official state insect. With insect photos in high and medium resolutions.

  • Dragonfly 101 - The Basics

    Discusses amazing facts about these species. With links to related sites.

  • Gordon's Odonata Pages

    Introduction to dragonflies and information about their ecology, taxonomy, life cycle, natural predators, and relationship with man. With images, book reviews, and bibliography.

  • International Odonata Research Institute

    Serves as a source of information about the order Odonata featuring species lists, images, collecting guidelines, discussion groups, and books and supplies.

  • Iowa Odonata Survey

    Organized group of individuals interested in advancing the knowledge of dragonflies, damselflies, and other similar invertebrates in Ioawa. Presents photos of Iowa's Odonata, range information and maps, as well as state and county checklists.

  • Minnesota Odonata Survey Project (MOSP)

    Volunteer project aimed at determining the ranges and distributions of populations of dragonflies and damselflies in Minnesota. Features species of interest, presents a calendar of events, and posts news and musings.

  • NJOdes

    Site dedicated to the dragonflies and damselflies of New Jersey. Includes state and seasonal data, checklists, species accounts and photos, and an Odonata identification quiz.

  • Ode News

    Offers information about dragonflies and damselflies in southern New England along with links to odonate websites, checklist, and bibliography.

  • Odonata of Japan

    Presents the Odonata biology, photos of larvae and adult specimens, discussions, and related links.

  • Odonata of New Brunswick

    Site devoted to the province of New Brunswick's damselflies and dragonflies. Presents species profiles, a country/flight table, and galleries of odonata photos.

  • Odonata.Bogfoot.net

    Photos, records, lists, and discussions on dragonflies and damselflies in Oregon, Washington, and other areas.

  • Odonata.EU

    Online guide focused on the identification of all species of dragonflies and damselflies in Europe. Features hundreds of high resolution pictures.

  • OdonataCentral

    Shares information and resources regarding the distribution, biogeography, biodiversity, and identification of Odonata in various places around the world. Includes checklists, maps, records, and publications.

  • Wisconsin Dragonflies and Damselflies

    Presents the Wisconsin Odonata Survey, offering information about the distributions and habitat requirements of over 160 odonates in Wisconsin.

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