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Dragonflies and damselflies of Italy

Matteo Bisanti, Matteo Ruocco
In cooperation with the Italian Society for the Study and Conservation of Dragonflyes (odonata.it)
Images by odonata.it

This key includes all dragonfly and damselfly species listed in the Atlas of Italian dragonflies (Riservato et al., 2014).
The chosen characters allow the identification of mature adults (or images), with fully developed body colors and non-translucent wings.
The vast majority of characters allow the identification of individuals through simple observations in nature (possibly with binoculars suitable for the purpose) or through targeted photographs (which highlight the diagnostic characters). For the discrimination of some species, however, capture by entomological net and the manipulation of individuals are necessary, to observe the required details with a lens. This operation, although not particularly complex and absolutely not impacting the health of the animal, must be carried out by people with a certain degree of experience.
For some species we choose to divide the records into males and females, because the strong sexual dimorphism does not allow to find a single discriminating character .
The taxon pages include synthetic information on the biology, ecology, and distribution of each species derived from the odonata.it. This information may be also useful in cases of doubt, helping in the confirmation or denial of the identification.
The authors thank: Stefano Aguzzi, Davide Alberti, Sönke Andersen, Gianmaria Carchini, Roberto Fabbri, Federico Landi, Gianandrea La Porta, Elisa Monterastelli, Veronica Nanni, Massimo Pettavino, Riccardo Poloni, Elisa Riservato.

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Conci, C., Nielsen, C. (1956). Fauna d’Italia – Odonata. Edizioni Calderini Bologna, Bologna, 298 pp.
Dijkstra K.-D. (2006). Field Guide to the Dragonflies of Britain and Europe. British Wildlife publishing, Trento (Italy), 320 pp.
Gallaini, C., Scherini, R., Piglia, A, Merlini, D. (2015). Odonati d’Italia. Guida al riconoscimento e allo studio di libellule e damigelle. Linea.it, 201 pp.
Riservato, E., Festi, A., Fabbri, R., Grieco, C., Hardersen, S., La Porta, G., Landi, F., Siesa, M. E., Utzeri, C. (2014). Odonata - Atlante delle libellule italiane - Preliminare. Società Italiana per lo Studio e la Conservazione delle Libellule, Edizione Belvedere, “le scienze” (17), Latina. ISBN: 978-88-89504-38-3.

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