Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dragons and Damsels! Flies, that is... in OdonataCentral

OdonataCentral, sponsored by the Texas Natural Science Center of UT Austin, is just about the coolest thing since a new insect order was discovered in 2002. If you are an Odonata enthusiast (and why wouldn't you be?) this will become a favorite way to view dragonflies and damselflies without leaving your keyboard. The distribution maps are searchable and interactive, so you can locate, within seconds, all reported occurrences of a given species within a certain locale. Give it a try! In addition to the maps, OdonataCentral offers hundreds of amazing photographs (Red Saddlebags is just one example of exquisite detail), detailed identification records, an extensive bibliography of journal articles with its own search interface, back issues of the journals Bulletin of American Odonatology and Argia, and a well-organized list of related Web sites.

Thanks to Dr. John C. Abbot, Curator of Entomology, Texas Natural Science Center of University of Texas, Austin, for making such a fine and reliable source of information openly accessible, and to all contributors of OdonataCentral for building the database. John Abbott is author of Dragonflies and Damselflies of Texas and South-Central United States, which you can borrow through OhioLINK.

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