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Title: Book review of Dragonfly Genera of the New World. An Illustrated and Annotated Key to the Anisoptera. Garrison, R.W., N. Von Ellenrieder and J.A. Louton, Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, Baltimore, MD. xi+368 pp. Hardback, ISBN 0-8018-8446-2

This superb book is the most important reference on the Order Odonata to appear since the 1999 publication of Philip Corbet's monumental work on the behavior and ecology of Odonata. In the context of specimen identification and faunistics, it is the most significant contribution in decades, for it opens a new door to the most diverse and least known dragonfly fauna on Earth, that of the Neotropical Region. The book treats the genera of all the New World dragonflies, but while the Nearctic Anisoptera (at least north of the Mexican border) is extensively summarized in many taxonomic and identification manuals (e.g., Needham et al. 2000), the Neotropical fauna remains rather poorly known. Much of it still is undescribed and taxonomic syntheses are few and far between. This is partly because of its huge diversity, the remoteness of much of the region, and the relative scarcity of specimens in collections. As T. W. Donnelly (2006) noted in a recent review of this book, the New World tropics have always been a challenge to biologists in many disciplines because the region was first colonized by the Spanish and Portuguese who largely lacked the tradition of natural history studies characteristic of the British,more » French, Dutch and Germans in Africa, India or Southeast Asia. In South America there simply was no F. C. Fraser to write an equivalent to his three volumes on the Odonata in The Fauna of British India. Borror (1945) was an early and wonderful resource for deciphering the genera of the large family Libellulidae in the Americas. Calvert's hard-to-find contributions on the Odonata (1902-1908) in the Biologia Centrali-Americana helped students of the Central American fauna; the updated equivalent by Foerster (2001) for Mesoamerican genera is also important. But as far as syntheses and overviews, that's about all there was - until now.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Florida Entomologist; Journal Volume: 90; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States