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Complete Field Guide to Dragonflies of Australia

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The Complete Field Guide to Dragonflies of Australia

Gunther Theischinger   Retired; Consultant to EPA New South Wales
John Hawking   Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre

Colour photographs, Illustrations, Glossary, Bibliography, Index
376 pages, 215 x 148 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing

    Paperback - 2006
ISBN: 9780643090736 - AU $ 49.95

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Dragonflies and damselflies are conspicuous insects – many are large and brightly coloured. Here for the first time is a comprehensive guide to the Australian dragonfly fauna.

The book includes identification keys not only for adults but also for their larvae, commonly known as ‘mud eyes’ and often used as bait for freshwater fish. With stunning full-colour images and distribution maps, the book covers all 30 families, 110 genera and 324 species found in Australia.

Dragonflies are valuable indicators of environmental well-being. A detailed knowledge of the dragonfly fauna and its changes is therefore an important basis for decisions about environmental protection and management. Their extraordinary diversity will interest entomologists and amateur naturalists alike.


  • Only available complete guide to Australian dragonflies
  • Covers all 30 families, 110 genera and 324 species found in Australia
  • Full colour images of all species
  • Distribution maps for all species
  • Separate identification keys for both adults and larvae
  • Foreword by Philip Corbet


Species guide
  • Zygoptera
  • Epiproctophora
Illustrated glossary

Keys to adults

Keys to larvae

Checklist of species

References and further reading

Index of scientific names

Index of common names


  • Entomologists and odonatologists
  • Freshwater ecologists
  • Environmental consultants
  • Environmental protection agencies
  • Undergraduate biology students
  • Amateur naturalists

 "This book will appeal to everyone, from beginners to students and researchers, and should become the first reference book that anyone interested in Australian Odonata will consult."
Richard Marchant, The Vitorian Naturalist, June 2007

"The guide is a profusely illustrated visual feast. Highly recommended - at 376 pages, you get your money's worth, yet it remains portable for the field."
Greg Czechura, WILDLIFE Australia Magazine, 2007

"I cannot recommend this book highly enough to those interested in Australian Odonata and freshwater habitats."
Richard Marchant, Australian Society for Limnology Newsletter, Vol. 45, No. 1, March 2007

"This wonderful field guide can be wholeheartedly recommended to all who are interested in the biodiversity of Australia and/or of the order Odonata. The book is of equal usefulness for laymen as well as for entomologists. The price is absolutely adequate, especially considering the outstanding quantity."
Gunter Bechly, Aquatic Insects: International Journal of Freshwater Entomology, March 2007

"As a reference book, CSIRO's The Complete Guide to Dragonflies of Australia is unexecelled."
John T. Moss, Butterfly and Other Invertebrates Club Inc. Newsletter, March 2007

"It is an excellent tome and I have no doubt that it will be the 'Bible' of Australian Dragonflies for many years to come."
Stephen Richards (South Australian Museum, Vertebrates Department)

 Gunther Theischinger has had a lifelong interest in aquatic insects. He has collected specimens in Australia, Greece, Spain and Australia and published more than 200 scientific papers. In the last few years he has described more than 60 new species and several new genera of Australian dragonflies. He has been a visiting scientist at the Australian National Insect Collection in Canberra, and is a Research Associate of the Australian Museum and a Visiting Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution, USA.

John Hawking is an invertebrate ecologist at Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre in New South Wales. He holds numerous workshops on identification of freshwater invertebrates.

Related Titles
 Wildlife Conservation in Farm Landscapes    The Marine World    Beetle    Pest Management of Turfgrass for Sport and Recreation    Cephalopods of Australia and Sub-Antarctic Territories    Australian Longhorn Beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) Volume 2    Insects of South-Eastern Australia  


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