| Access keys and pages by clicking on below: Odonata - Beginning Key|
ANISOPTERA - Dragonflies Aeshnidae
Cordulegaster (14.8.98) Corduliidae
Williamsonia (29.6.98) Gomphidae
ZYGOPTERA - Damselflies Calopterygidae
Cape Cod Odonata
European Odonata (Antoine's Dragonfly-HP)
| What's Being Updated in 1998? Things are quickly changing. As this project enters a new phase in 1998, graphics, figures and (better) maps for most pages will soon be in place. (Pages that can be considered more or less complete are designated with a date next to the name (see index left), and have the "under construction" emblem removed). Also, we updated the project so that one can utilize frames, a feature of web browsers that allows for a navigation frame to appear as one jumps from page to page (see above, or click here). Page layouts also are being redesigned, and information generally will be organized into four sections: 1) Notes (on distribution, taxonomy and systematics, biology and ecology, etc.); 2) State Species List; 3) Larval Key; and 4) References. (Bibliography for the entire project can be accessed from this page (see left)). Finally, interesting and useful sites on the WWW pertinent to the larvae or aquatic habitats of each family or genus will be hotlinked on their respective pages. Please notify us of any links that should be added, or dead links removed. We hope these changes will greatly improve this project's usefulness and aesthetic appearence. |
Accessing The Keys Identification keys are accessed by simplying clicking on the choices on the navigation fram to the left. For those unfamilar with the larvae of Odonata, we recommend beginning the sequence from the beginning (Odonata).
Introduction and Web Page Organization This project is part of an effort to utilize the resources of the UMMZ's large Odonata collection and to help educate the public about an interesting and important part of our entomological fauna. The intent of these web pages is to simplify the use of keys which are not always available to the public using the power of the computer to neatly organize text, figures and pictures as well as conveniently provide information regarding terminology, distribution, taxonomy and biology. This is an on-going project, and this web site will be continually updated and revised. We follow the usual layout of dichotomous keys to allow one to identify individuals on-hand. If one is unfamiliar with Odonata, it is best to begin at the beginning page that distinguished the user between dragonflies and damselflies. Then, simply click on highlighted name that matches the preceeding description(s) until you arrive at the desired taxonomic level (family, genus, species etc.). Tables eventually will be provided to conveniently list species' characters to verify any identification (e.g. see Somatochlora).
Tips on Use Larvae are most easily identified to species when mature larvae (later or last instar individuals) are on hand, as diagnostic characters are not always fully developed. However, immature specimens usually can be identified to family and genus. Experienced individuals can often rear collected larvae to later stages for identification using inexpensive equipment (aquaria, pumps, substrate and food). With luck and experience, one can also observe the moment when the adult emerges, and a definite species identification can be made.
Future Goals and Improvements Hopefully this is just the beginning, and we hope to secure resources in which to implement additional improvements and projects:
- establish a page for each species, with a summary of their biology (particularly data from Michigan and the Great Lakes region) and a table of morphological characters to allow for species-level comparisons and other diagnostics;
- create distribution maps that permit collection locality information to be accessed via a database interface;
- update existing information with the many expected corrections from reviewers and users, and add new data from the many Odonata enthusiasts in Michigan and elsewhere;
- extend this project to include other aquatic insect orders, in particular Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera, Heteroptera and Diptera (Chironomidae).
Web Page Design This web page was designed with Claris Home Page 2.0. Most photographs were taken with a Wild M5 dissecting scope with a photoadapter on Ektachrome 160T slide film, and then scanned directly with a Panasonic slide digitizer. Other images were directly digitized using a Panasonic digital video camera connected to a trinocular dissecting microscope, or directly photographed with a Nikon F3 camera equipped with a Nikkor 105 F2.8 camera and Nikon bellows. Drawings (hand drawn or copied from public domain literature) were directly scanned using a UMAX S-6E 300 dpi flatbed scanner. This project has been conceived and written by Ethan Bright, who is responsible for larval identification, literature research and web page design. Mark O'Brien assisted with layout design, page editing, and file and server compatibility. John Megahan provided drawings and assistance with manipulating digitized images. About the authors: Ethan Bright and Mark O'Brien Back to top