California supports a diverse and attractive array of dragonflies (order Odonata). Nymphs are aquatic sit-and-wait predators, while adults are amazing aerial acrobats catching and eating their food while flying. Water resources have always been a contentious issue in California, made more acute by recent droughts. Among the insects most impacted by these water wars are the dragonflies and damselflies. The Essig Museum collaborated with the seven other major arthropod collections in California for the CalBug project to database the historical distribution of California's terrestrial arthropod fauna. One of the first groups we databased and georeferenced was the Odonata. An overview of the effort was published by Joanie Damerow in ZooKeys 482.

Check out our collection of dragonflies.

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