Arizona has a great diversity of ecosystems ranging from arid deserts to artificial and natural bodies of water, wet alpine meadows, and conifer forests. This diversity is associated with a large variety of animals, especially insects and including odonates. In addition and given its proximity to Mexico, Arizona is home to many species that reach the northern limit of their geographic distribution and sometimes are found nowhere else - or almost so - in the United States.
This web site presents photographic documentation on odonate species that have been officially recorded in Arizona. As is the case for just about all organisms, individual variation exists within each species that is related not only to sex but also to age, geographic region, and other factors. We wanted to give an idea of this variation by showing multiple instead of just one or two pictures of each species. The web site will hopefully foster further interest in odonates by facilitating their identification, and stimulate additional observations related to their natural history. We hope that you will enjoy using AZ Dragonfly and will learn from it!
To identify a species that you saw or photographed, scroll down this page and find the species (thumbnail image) that most resembles that which you found. Species are grouped based on their phylogenetic relationships. Then click on the thumbnail to open this species’ page. Each species’ page generally contains multiple pictures starting with mature and immature males, then mature and immature females, and finally other pictures that may include pairs in copulation, ovipositing females, and individuals in the hand to show structural details. Note that the legend of each picture includes the exact date and location where it was taken.
Links to all the species’ pages (in alphabetical order) are also found in the left-hand column of each page.
At the top of each species’ web page you will find a link to a map showing the current geographical distribution (by county) of the species in the Southwest USA. In some cases you will also find a link (“Similar species comparison”) to a page comparing this species with others that most resemble it.
Click on this tab to open a page listing locations (sorted by county) where to look for odonates. Clicking on the thumbnail picture of a location opens up a new page containing a Google map and a representative picture of this location.
This page contains information on noteworthy observations such as new early and late flying dates, extension of geographic distribution, etc. Observations are listed by year and in inverse chronological order.
Use this page to find additional sources of information (web sites; books) on odonates of the Southwest USA.
You can use the Search function to search the web site for any term including common or scientific species name, location, month, year, etc. For example, a search for “Maricopa” will result in a list of all the pages containing pictures taken in Maricopa Co.
You can also click on “More Options” to simultaneously search the site for multiple terms. For example, a query for “Maricopa June Skimmer” will result in a list of all the pages showing skimmer pictures taken in June in Maricopa Co. Similarly, a query for “Dancer August 2008” will result in a list of all the dancer pictures on the web site and that were taken in August 2008.
Lastly, do not forget the Feedback page. You can use it to let us know what you think of the web site and to make suggestions for improvements. We’d love to hear from you!