OdonataCentral makes use of relational databases to dynamically generate maps, checklists, and accompanying data. We have worked hard to make sure that the delivery and processing times for this information is as fast as possible, but to achieve the most from this site you will need a fast broadband connection. The site is best viewed using Mozilla Firefox at a minimum screen resolution of 1024x768. The interactive maps make use of Google Maps and will be perform under the conditions designated by Google.
The initial distribution data used on this site is based on the North American Dot Map Project. A project initiated by Nick Donnelly and involving more than 100 contributors from the Odonata community. The goal of this project was to accurately document the distributions of all North American species. Please note, the records contributed by this project represent county centroids, not actual localities. The final product from this project was published as a three volume set in 2004.
Donnelly, T.W. 2004. Distribution of North American Odonata. Part I: Aeshnidae, Petaluridae, Gomphidae, Cordulegastridae. Bulletin of American Odonatology 7(4):61-90.
Donnelly, T.W. 2004. Distribution of North American Odonata. Part II: Macromiidae, Corduliidae and Libellulidae. Bulletin of American Odonatology 8(1):1-32.
Donnelly, T.W. 2004. Distribution of North American Odonata. Part III: Calopterygidae, Lestidae, Coenagrionidae, Protoneuridae, Platystictidae, with data sources and bibliography, parts 1-III. Bulletin of American Odonatology 8(2-3):33-99.
I did not want to lose the momentum that was created with this project. From this the new OdonataCentral was born. I wanted to develop a dynamic delivery system that was more interactive and easily updatable than hardcopy materials. Through the use of PHP and Google Maps we have provided just such an interface. Not only can you view the distribution of any species in North America (and ultimately the Americas), but you can generate maps and checklists on the fly. You can also submit verifiable records to be included in the database. This site and our growing knowledge of Odonata distributions depends on your contributions.
You can read about the decisions made regarding the taxonomy used within this site by clicking here. I hope that OdonataCentral will serve as a facilitating mechanism to collect and disseminate the growing body of knowledge on the distributions of North American Odonata species. I invite you to email me with any ideas or information that you think can improve this site.
At this time, all records must be vouchered with either a photo or a specimen. You can upload the images through the record submission form (Records → Submit Record). If you have a specimen to support the record, you can take a photo of the specimen and upload it, and/or indicate in the notes where the specimen is housed. For a step-by-step guide to submitting records to OdonataCentral, please click here. For a list of vetters and the regions they are responsible for, see this page.
OdonataCentral is designed to gather and disseminate information about dragonfly and damselfly distribution and abundance across the Western Hemisphere.
Personal Information is voluntarily supplied by you when you register and submit data to OdonataCentral. By registering, you allow us to associate your observations with a unique identifier (login or email), so that you can track your personal records. If you submit an unusual record, we may e-mail you to request more details, but your email address and contact information will not be sold or distributed. Profile Information allows us to gain a better understanding of OdonataCentral participants and to determine how best to improve the web site for users.
Dragonfly and damselfy observations are the most important pieces of information that we collect. All details of an observation and its associated location are available to all users registered with OdonataCentral. No personal contact information is ever made public unless you opt to make it available in your profile.
Because a primary goal of OdonataCentral is to maintain a universally accessible, centralized database of dragonfly and damselfly observations, the records you submit are available to all OdonataCentral users, scientists, and others who are interested in examining the distribution, abundance, and trends of New World species.
Registered users are able to view their personal observations and the observations of others, so please be aware that your observations of sensitive species and their locations will be available to others.
OdonataCentral and the Dragonfly Society of the Americas are conservation organizations and while we encourage the collection of specimens in many cases in order to voucher records, we ask that you do so responsibly. See the Dragonfly Soceity of the America's collecting policy.
Nick Donnelly provided the initial distribution data gathered through the North American Dot Map Project.
Vetting of records is done by a number of recognized experts including John Abbott, Giff Beaton, Kathy Biggs, Nick Donnelly, Jim Johnson, Collin Jones, Steve Krotzer, Tim Manolis and Dennis Paulson.
Bob Behrstock, Dustin Huntington, and Greg Lasley have all graciously agreed to allow me to use many of their wonderful photographs in this site.