Wisconsin Odonata Survey

Get Involved with the Wisconsin Odonata Survey

Citizen volunteers are greatly appreciated because there are far too many habitats to check for the few professionals who work with Odonata. Any level of commitment on your part will be appreciated. Good field guides for dragonflies and damselflies have recently become available on national and regional levels — some are available from the Wisconsin Dragonfly Society (WDS) for no or reduced cost. You might want an aerial net, a pair of close-focusing binoculars, a digital camera with good macro capabilities, and some collecting supplies in addition to field guides. Waders, hip boots, or knee-high boots will help keep you dry.

The focus of the Wisconsin Odonata Survey (WOS) is to document populations of dragonflies (Suborder Anisoptera) and damselflies (Suborder Zygoptera) by identifying adults, nymphs, and exuviae (cast skins left behind near shore when the nymph transforms into the adult). In this way we are gaining increasing knowledge of where the 164 species known to occur in Wisconsin may be found and what are their required habitats. This information is especially useful for rarer species. If you choose to become involved, some collecting of specimens may be needed because some species can be identified only under magnification. If you would rather not collect dragonflies, you can still help the survey by learning to identify those species that can be identified in the hand or on the wing, and by collecting exuviae.

Getting connected

How to observe or collect specimens

Acceptance of Odonata records

How to access different properties in Wisconsin

Resources: field guides, books, supplies and contacts

This site is produced in conjunction with the Wisconsin Aquatic and Terrestrial Resources Inventory and sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The information presented on this site is subject to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' Legal Notices, Disclaimers, and Terms of Use.