Odonata.EU is a site that
provides photographs of European dragonflies and damselflies, also know
as the Odonata order of insects. A steady decline of the Odonata insect order can be observed
over the years as more and more habitats are destroyed and our climate
changes in ever more dramatic ways. Dragonflies seem to suffer most from
Earth’s climatic change. Their inability to fold their wings means they
are easily exposed to the full wind power of most storms. Dragonflies
need more food than damselflies so their overall survival chance and
diversity is at risk. Damselflies fare a bit better since their folded
wings expose them less to the elements.
There are several different Odonata species that can be observed in a
single season that typically lasts from May to October. Observing that
same area over a five year timespan will show that there are different
dragonfly species each year. Some species emerge once a year, every
other year, every 3 years or every 5 years. Most countryside development
takes place in a much shorter timeframe and so impact to habitats may go
virtually unnoticed to those making the changes.
If you want to contribute to Odonata survival than please consider to
make a large pond. These ponds are inhabited in only a few years time.
Try to keep in mind to have a fish free area either by using specific
plants that fish can not swim trough or by using other obstructions.
Also the depth should be sufficient so the pond does not freeze
completely during the winter. Be safe and keep children away from ponds!
Please also make a shallow area where animals that fall into the pond
can swim to and crawl out. Shallow pond areas are used by birds to drink
and wash and insects can be observed to benefit as well. Also stay
involved with waterscape changes in your area. Significantly raising or
lowering water levels can already influence Odonata populations.
Introducing fish and plants into existing waterscapes influences Odonata
habitats as well.
The most effective way to observe Odonata is using a digital camera.
Identification is difficult even if you have been observing and
identifying Odonata for several years. Photos allow you to discuss your
finds in forums and point out perhaps abnormalities or illnesses not
well documented by the interest community.
Never capture or handle insects it means braking the law in most
My appeal to research institutions worldwide is to please share
information about what you learn about animals and insects and to
publish DNA and other research results to the larger community. It is a
tragic waste and disrespect of nature when all research institutions
kill and dissect the same species over and over without making results
public. To give my grievance some perspective; On average about 50
animals/insects have to be killed to obtain a useful DNA sample based on
which facts about that species can be stated with reasonable certainty.
On average I see between 1 and 5 same-specie Odonata on a day in the
field. On average one in 8 years is a “good summer” for dragonflies to
thrive. Odonata only live in the wild, incubation fails as Odonata
nymphs need to be kept in a hibernation state during the winter months.
This site is my micro-philanthropy contribution to the wellbeing of the
Odonata order of insects. I hope you enjoy the site!
Odonata presented on this site have not been
handled in any way. I do not condone the use of flash or light
stobes for nature photography.