Help us with the Dragonfly ID app!

The new Dragonfly ID app is a collaborative effort made possible through contributions of time, effort and money from hundreds of people. A project like this is by its nature a work in progress. Our immediate goal is to be able to provide users with high quality text and at least one good photo for every species in North America.


Would you be willing to contribute text for a common species in your area? Or maybe a photo of a missing species? Thanks to John Abbott who has generously offered to review and edit contributed text. Let’s keep him busy!

Description and ID text

Species text should be a minimum of a couple of paragraphs. There is really no upper limit to how much text the app can handle, but in general we should try to keep it brief enough that users in the field can quickly find the information they need.

Our goal is to have text for every species of around 50-200 words for each of the following sections:

Description: include a description of each of the field-identifiable adult forms
Identification: include a description of differentiating this species from similar species
Habitat: especially information that will help a user in the field find this species
Natural History:
(Optional) Seasonality and Distribution
(If applicable) Taxonomic or Nomenclatural notes

A great place to start is by reviewing Odonata Central’s “Identification pages” such as this one for Vivid Dancer. Note that the text on the Odonata Central “Identification pages” were originally targeted to the southwestern US, and so sections such as comparison species and range descriptions are not adequate for an app targeting all of North America.

It would be great to get some text contributions in French and Spanish as well. Or, if you are interested in helping with translating into these languages, please get in touch.

Of course, we would credit you in the app and anytime your text was used. The credits will look something like this (Note that this example is made up!)

Contributed: Dan Tallman Aug 30, 2015
Expanded: John Garrett Aug 31, 2015
Edited: John C. Abbott Sept 5, 2015
Revised and expanded: John C. Abbott Sept 30, 2015

So, if you’re interested head to dragonfly text submission form where you can find instructions to submit the text. If you have friends or colleague who might be interested please share this information with them and encourage them to get in touch with us. Everyone who contributes text for at least one species will also be eligible (if they wish) to participate in beta testing.

Thanks in advance,

The Dragonfly ID team