‘Horse-stingers‘ and ‘Devil’s Darning Needles‘, the old names for Dragonflies and Damselflies, are frequently encountered on my walks in the summer months. Be it the Common Hawker over reedy ponds and lakes, the magnificent Emperor Dragonfly seeing off intruders, including me, along river and canal edges, a Southern Hawker along my grassy paths and lanes, the quite stunningly beautiful Banded Demoiselle feebly fluttering beside slow water, the…. the list goes on.
This book is probably all that anyone requires if interested in British Dragonflies and Damselflies (it includes both). It gives a good introduction to the life history of these beasties, including that part below water which few of us ever see, yet forms by far the greater part of the life cycle of these magnificent insects.
Book from my shelves:
The Dragonflies of Great Britain and Ireland. Cyril O. Hammond, revised by Robert Merritt. Harley Books, 2nd edition 1985. ISBN 0 946589 14 3