A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
© John Wilkinson & Rob Dickinson
This guide is unashamedly a visual one with very little written content.

John Wilkinson and Rob Dickinson chose to pool their resources together to present these intriguing insects in a whole new way.

As amateur nature enthusiasts, John and Rob are always learning. They seek to find, photograph, identify and visually show all non-larval ages, forms and the sexual dimorphism of all the odonata species that may be found in South Africa. It goes without saying that this will always be a work in progress and the authors welcome any comments, reports of errors or omissions, new information or even content that will assist them in improving this.
John Wilkinson
John has a keen interest in photography, dragonflies and damselflies. He is particularly interested in observing these insects, constantly looking for, documenting and testing his theories of new identification criteria that could possibly simplify and demystify the art and science of reliably identifying dragonflies from photographs alone. (Click any thumbnail like this one for a larger pop over view, this is the way it works throughout this website).
Rob Dickinson
Rob had a keen interest in photography and also all creatures great and small.  He searched for wildlife wherever he traveled, he particularly enjoyed overcoming the challenges associated with photographing dragonflies, damselflies, butterflies and animals in their natural habitats. Rob was also the webmaster, he built and maintained this site. R.I.P my friend. (Click any thumbnail like this one for a larger pop over view, this is the way it works throughout this website).
Recommendations on using this guide
It is strongly recommended that the reference books shown below be used in conjunction with this visual guide, these contain other identification clues that are not mentioned on these pages.

It was never intended to simply reproduce existing expert knowledge, effort has been made to add to it. Wherever possible, look-alike species are compared with each other, some comparisons include side notes. Ordinarily females are very difficult to identify without observing interaction with same-species males, new work on the identification of lone females has been incorporated in this guide.

Links to buy the books are provided below in order of the authors' names, pages will open in a new tab/window.
Thanks to the authors of the books above for their expert guidance from time to time. We also learn a lot from our friends on the group Dragonflies and Damselflies of Southern Africa who we constantly debate matters with.

Thanks to the team at the University of Cape Town Animal Demography Unit (ADU), they store all our field photographs, they identify them and then use the data to produce the up-to-date species distributions maps that we have included on this site.
Become a citizen scientist and upload your geotagged odonata images to the Virtual Museum.

Thanks to Juan-Pierre Antunes, Norman Barrett, Sharon Basel, Gert Bensch, Justin Bode, Bertie Brink, Tim Cockcroft, Lucia Cowan, Gregg Darling, Desire Darling, Hennie de Klerk, Andries de Vries, Estelle Duchemann, Corrie Du Toit, Xavier Fazakerley, Felicity Grundlingh, Hillary Harrison, Nicholas Hart, Chris Hines, Jean Hirons, Andrew Hodgson, Richard Johnstone, Simon Joubert, Dawie Kleynhans, Lappies Labuschagne, Stewart MacLachlan, Alan Manson, Andre Marais, Alice Möller, Gert Myburgh, Charl Oettle, Dave Pepler, Niall Perrins, Selwyn Quan, Corné Rautenbach, Katharina Reddig, Eddie Reinecke, Diana Russel, Peter Small, Antoinette Snyman, Sharon Stanton, Stuart Shearer, Alf Taylor, Ryan Tippett, Wilna Steenkamp, Elsa Vink,  Dave West and Ronelle Nezar White for photographs. Contributors' names will be added within any photographs we use that are not our own. Since this site is image rich, all graphics are compressed and they do not represent original file quality.
South African odonata related websites
Links to websites are arranged in alphabetical order, pages will open in a new tab/window.

•  ADDO - African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online
•  Dragonflies and Damselflies of Southern Africa
•  Insect photographs by Alan Manson
•  Niall's Nature Pages
•  Warwick Tarboton
International odonata related websites
Links to international websites are arranged in alphabetical order, pages will open in a new tab/window.

•  Foreign language sites can usually be translated by right clicking in your browser and selecting translate to English
•  It is already known that some links may require repair or removal from time to time
•  Please report bad links or request that your own link be added
These pages, all photographs and derived works are presented in good faith for personal usage only. All content anywhere on this site is copyright protected and may only be reproduced with the express permission of the authors and material contributors.

©  John Wilkinson and Rob Dickinson 2016 - 2017 unless indicated otherwise.
 •   All rights are reserved and the authors will pursue copyright offenders.