Everyone can contribute to this hemisphere wide survey of Odonates

Coverage Area

Map of Western Hemisphere

Calling all Ode Enthusiastists.

The Odolympics starts in June!

The Dragonfly Society of the Americas is partnering with Odonata Central to conduct the Odolympics 2021.


  • Odonate survey of the entire Western Hemisphere
  • Everyone can participate by entering observations into Odonata Central or iNaturalist
  • June and December Survey dates to accommodate participants in the entire Western Hemisphere
  • The goal is to record as many species from as many places as possible
  • You can have fun and contribute to citizen science by helping to create a single year snapshot of odonate distribution


The Odolympics 2021 is an online odonate survey during two time periods in 2021 across the entire Western Hemisphere. By contributing observations during this survey, you will be contributing to expanding our understanding of odonate distribution.

Everyone can participate. Observations can be entered into either Odonata Central or iNaturalist. Both platforms are multilingual.

The goal is to try to record as many species from as many places in the Western Hemisphere as possible in a the two census periods to generate a snapshot of odonate distribution during this time.

This dragonfly survey of the entire Western Hemisphere will be conducted twice, once around the summer solstice (19-27 June 2021) and again around the winter solstice (11-19 December 2021) so odonate enthusiasts from the entire Western Hemisphere can participate.

This is also a chance to contribute to a citizen science project focused on odonates. The final repository for the data will be Odonata Central where the data gathered in this survey will contribute to Odonata Central’s mission of expanding our understanding of the distribution, biogeography and biodiversity of Odonates. These data will be critical in filling gaps in the Odonata Central data set. All data on Odonata Central are freely available to everyone to explore or download.

Help make this project a success. Plan to participate.


A summary of results and participation will be published in Argia (the newsletter of the Dragonfly Society of the Americas) in 2022.

At any time, users can view the Odolympics data in Odonata Central by opening the filters and setting the Project filter to “Odolympics”. Other filter settings allow you to restrict the data further in many ways. You can Browse Records, generate Species Lists and view Maps of the data in the project. All data is freely available to download. Records contributed to iNaturalist can be viewed by visiting the Odolympics iNaturalist Project, although eventually these data will be available in Odonata Central.

How to Contribute

Overview: Make odonate observations anywhere in the Western Hemisphere during the two date windows and submit them to either the Odonata Central or the iNaturalist projects. Enter observations on as many days as you wish. The goal is to get as many observations of as many species from as many places as possible.

The Odolympics will use Odonata Central as the data repository however data entry projects will be hosted on both Odonata Central and iNaturalist and users can enter data through either site.

To count towards the Odolympics, the checklist must be added to the “Odolympics” project on Odonata Central (which only accepts observations made on the specified dates) or iNat users must join one or both the “Odolympics” projects on iNaturalist (June and December) so their observations during the dates of the survey will be collected.

There are three ways you can enter data to be counted in the Odolympics

  1. Directly into Odonata Central. We encourage participants to enter data directly into Odonata Central. Odonata Central accepts complete checklists of photographed, collected and observed only records for any location. It has powerful features for browsing records, creating maps, and producing species lists. Complete data sets can be downloaded by anyone. On the first screen of Add Records, be sure to select Odolympics as the project (only available after you enter a valid date of observation).
  2. Imported into Odonata Central from iNaturalist. This is the preferred way to get iNaturalist observations into Odonata Central. You can enter observations into iNaturalist and then import them into Odonata Central by cutting and pasting the URL of the iNaturalist record. This copies location, date, species, and photographs into Odonata Central so they don’t need to be entered again. A video tutorial on this process can be viewed by clicking here. On the first screen of Add Records, be sure to select Odolympics as the project. If using this method, do NOT join the Odolympics projects on iNatualist to avoid duplicating records.
  3. Directly into iNaturalist. iNaturalist users can join one or both of the projects called “Odolympics June 2021” or "Odolympics December 2021". They must agree to the terms of the project (outlined in the project summary) and provide the additional data required. Observations reported to iNaturalist during the Odolympics will be collected into these project. These data will be downloaded and imported into Odonata Central and added to the Odolympics project later.

All users of Options 1 and 2 must be registered users of Odonata Central. All users of Options 2 and 3 must be registered users of iNaturalist. Registration on both sites is free and both sites are available in multiple languages.