Corrections and Additions to North American Field Guides

Dennis Paulson, 7 February 2015


My apologies for the number of errors that crept into these books, the majority of them a consequence of my mistyping (for example, calling thoracic stripes S instead of T or getting abdominal segment number wrong) rather than incorrect knowledge, then not catching the error during proofreading. With a deadline, there was no chance to get an odonate expert to read the entire text. I am also adding information that I have learned since the writing of the book that pertains to identification.





p. 24 - Gray Petaltail - should be "interalar sclerites."


57 – Spotted Spreadwing – apparently some females can have blue eyes (one photo seen from Colorado); I have never seen this in Washington.


58 – Northern Spreadwing – range in California extends down to Santa Clara County, S of San Francisco Bay, and Fresno County in the interior.


59 – Southern Spreadwing – should be S8 instead of S9 on bottom line.


61 - Sweetflag Spreadwing - first sentence under description ("Northern spreadwing frustratingly similar . . .) could be confusing; what was intended was that this species is a northern spreadwing, not that it is the Northern Spreadwing.


62 – Lyre-tipped Spreadwing – male cerci are usually pale at the base, probably a good mark to distinguish them from Northern, Southern, and Sweetflag.


65 – Emerald Spreadwing – range in California extends S of San Francisco Bay, also records from Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.


66 - Black Spreadwing - should have said paraprocts of moderate length (shorter than Northern, longer than Spotted). Also, a minority of Black Spreadwings are spotted under the thorax much like Spotted.


113 - Desert Forktail - second line should read "Rambur's only S8" and fourth line should read "also have S9 blue."


129 – Painted Damsel records from Colorado have been shown to be incorrect, based on misidentified specimens.


131 - Western Firetail at top of page should be Desert Firetail.


133 - Exclamation Damsel - should say "only odonate genus endemic to California . . ." San Francisco Forktail is the only other species endemic to the state.


154 - Spine-tipped Dancer - "Springwater has lower expanded part of humeral stripe with smaller rectangle (in comparison)." Not true, stripe essentially the same.


162 - Sierra Madre Dancer - definitely has blue-morph female with pale areas mostly blue.


164 - Springwater Dancer - “Common southwestern darner” should read “dancer.”


192 – Black Petaltail – distribution should extend to the coast in Washington, Oregon and northern California


218 - Azure Darner - thoracic character differentiating this from Zigzag Darner has not held up as definitive.


228 - Arroyo Darner - blue spot on either side of S3 in yellow females not diagnostic of Arroyo, can also occur in Blue-eyed.


232 – Amazon Darner – flight season in Texas is Jun-Nov.


233 - Comet Darner - immature female can have quite blue abdominal spots, thus looks much like Blue-spotted Comet Darner; could not be distinguished in field.


242 - Four-striped Leaftail - both species of leaftail usually have orange base to S8, can't be used as a field mark; leaftail species may not be distinguishable in dorsal view.


254 - Lancet Clubtail - under Identification, should read "slightly separated T1 and T2 . . ."


257 - Dusky Clubtail - Description should read "Thorax with T1-2 wide, fused, T3-4 wide, mostly fused."


264 - Ozark Clubtail - Description should read "Thorax with T1-2 wide and fused, T3-4 wide and almost fused."


269 – Columbia Clubtail – Occurs on John Day and Owyhee rivers in Oregon, not Malheur.


274 - Should be female subgenital plates (only typesetting error found).


279 - Russet-tipped Clubtail - Description should read "Thorax with T1-4 all present, well separated." Range should be extended to far southern Nevada.


281 - Brimstone Clubtail - also occurs east of Sierras in northern Nevada.


285 - Dragonhunter - Description should read "Thorax yellow with broad T1 and T2 fused (leaving tiny spot) or almost fused, broad T3 and T4 almost fused; yellow stripe between pairs narrower than dark area."


287 - Stated that ringtails and snaketails probably do not overlap in distribution; quite incorrect.


344 - Ocellated Emerald - listed south to New Jersey in error; only south to Massachusetts.


354 - Mocha Emerald - female abdomen tip incorrect, actually a Fine-lined Emerald by mistake; Mocha should look more like Williamson’s.


381 - Neon Skimmer - range should include most of southern California.


393 - Spangled Skimmer - should read "Stigmas white proximal two-thirds, black distal one-third."


395 - Bar-winged Skimmer - photo 268.2 is probably a Slaty Skimmer, at this time the only photo in the book suspected of being misidentified. With further knowledge, the thoracic pattern seems to be a better match for Slaty.


396 - Slaty Skimmer - photo 269.3 is a mature female; immatures have the color pattern much more brightly indicated.


415 - Amanda's Pennant - legends for male and female look as if they are reversed; male is above.


445 - Red-faced Dragonlet - both sexes have spot of color at hindwing base, somewhat variable in size.


459 – Cardinal Meadowhawk – spots on side of thorax better described as ivory-white, but vary to pale yellow.


494 – Ivory-striped Sylph – the large photo is actually a male White-tailed Sylph (Macrothemis pseudimitans), a species not known from the US when this book was written.


507 - Antillean Saddlebags - description should read Male: Eyes dark reddish-purple; face brown, top of frons metallic purple. Thorax dull reddish-brown, abdomen bright red with small black spots on top of S8-9. Cerci very long and black, red at extreme base. Basal wing veins red.


519 – under Mexican Scarlet-tail, should read Flame-tailed Pondhawk.





p. 149 – Blue-fronted Dancer – note that populations in north Florida and south Georgia may have broad black humeral stripes and reduced blue at the abdomen tip, making them look something like a Blue-tipped Dancer with a blue thorax.


185 – Black-tipped Darner - delete Newfoundland from the range.


394 – Beaverpond Baskettail – occasional females have spots on the crossveins along the front of the wing all the way to and including the nodus. This might be the only species in the genus with this character.


459 – photo 300.2 should be labeled Black Pondhawk.


Thanks to those who have notified me of errors they caught or given me additional information (sometimes just by sending me a photo to identify): John Abbott, Allen Barlow, Rob Cannings, Vic Fazio, John Fleckenstein, Jerry Hatfield, Matt Heindel, Jim Johnson, Cary Kerst, Greg Lasley, Don Lemieux, Steve Mlodinow, Bill Prather, Martin Reid, Zach Smith, Gary Suttle, Ken Tennessen and Jim Walker.