students will learn how to identify the dragonflies found in their Illinois
County by using the Odonata database list to find the scientific names,
searching field guides and the Internet for (1) the common name (2)
description (3) life habits and (4) a photograph. The findings can be
published as a poster or bulletin board display.
Time Required: It varies by county, but one class period for
research (each student or pair assigned one or more), and one class
period to assemble display.
Photo by Dr. E.D. Cashatt
Photographs are copyrighted. Include the name of the photographer in
the display or image. Usually these digital and print images may be
copied for educational use only.
Odonata Research at the Illinois State Museum
· computer with internet connection
· (optional) dragonfly field guide book such as Dragonflies Through
Binoculars by Sidney W. Dunkle, 2000. Oxford University Press. (through
an interlibrary loan) OR Dragonfly field guides
· poster board (or half-sheets of construction paper if making a bulletin
· glue stick
Find the listing for your county in the Odonata database URL; print
it out or cut and paste it to notepad and print it.
Assign students a species or variety to research on the Web and in field
guides.. Students will bookmark their find (searched by scientific name);
they can print out the page.
Using the information in their source, students will write an informative
Description (size, color, markings, shape)
Status (common, rare, threatened, endangered)
Students will compose a digital 'poster' in Photoshop and print it out,
or copy or print information out and cut and paste it on a posterboard
or sheet as part of a bulletin board display.
Students will present the information verbally to the others in class,
so that everyone learns about all the dragonflies.
Once the students are familiar with the images and information, they
could go out into the field (if available) to search for living examples.
Here is a partial list of some very common dragonflies that may be seen
between mid-April and Mid October:
(Anax junius) Mid-April to October (in migration)
Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) June 1 to early September
Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa) mid-April to mid-October
Twelve-spotted Skimmer (Libellula pulchella) mid-May to mid-September
Common Whitetail (Libellula lydia) May 1 to mid-September
Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicollis) mid-May to October
Spot-winged Glider (Pantala hymenaea) mid-June to late August
Curry, James R. 2001. Dragonflies of Indiana. Indiana Academy of Science,.
Good photographs of specimens and of habitat.
Legler, Karl and
Dorothy and Dave Westover. 1998. Common Dragonflies of Wisconsin. 429
Franklin St., Sauk City, WI 53583 608-643-4926. email@example.com