How to Use this Site/Application

Screen shot thumbnails may be clicked for larger images.

  • Navigation
    • Although the main pages are available from the home page, the menu is always available. Just click on the menu link in the upper right to get a list of sections. If you are logged in you will also see some new menu items based on your permissions.
  • Dragonflies & Damselflies
    • Both the dragonfly and damselfly pages function exactly the same way.
    • Families
      The opening page shows all of the species of dragonflies or damselflies organized by family. Click on the family name for more detail.
      Each family description gives you clues on how to classify an odonate into a family, a first step in learning to identify odonates. Click on the close button to hide the description.
    • Species
      Each species line gives you a quick overview of flight season and distribution; i.e., early and late dates and the number of counties where it has been recorded. The common name is a link to detail about that species.
      Some representative photos are available at the top of the detail page. Thumbnails may be clicked to open a slideshow of larger photos.
      Below the photos is a calendar which shows the relative flight season to give you an idea of when you are more likely to find this dragon or damsel. To the right is a short description including size.
      Natureserve has assigned all odonata a state and global code to indicate conservation status. Click on the button to review these codes and the close button to hide it.
      Distribution in Iowa is represented both graphically on a map as well as a list of counties where it has been recorded.
    • Record Details
      Directly below the distribution map is a link to view all records. These are listed by date of observation.
      Selecting a record from the list provides the details of the record including available photos.
  • Checklists
    • You may select a checklist for the state, a particular county, or a region of the state. The last button summarizes all counties.
    • Iowa Checklist
      This checklist shows all species recorded in the state. The number of counties where each species is provided and those that are on Iowa's State Wildlife Plan as species of concern are indicated.
      Click the link to download a printable checklist and a PDF of a field checklist is created for download. These can be handy for carrying in your car or recording data while in the field.
    • County Checklist
      Select a county from the dropdown to create a specific list. The download a printable checklist link creates a printable PDF for use in the field.
    • Regional Checklist
      This checklist is similar to the county page but groups counties together in regions of the state. Select from the dropdown or click on a region of the small map. The download a printable checklist link creates a printable PDF for use in the field.
    • Species By County
      This is a simple table showing the number of species recorded in each county while comparing land and water mass between counties. Odonates are aquatic creatures so clean water is imperative for their healthy populations. Click on the header to sort.
  • Informational Pages
    • Conservation
      Water quality is key to the survival of aquatic insects. Recognizing that much information was available on the odonata, the Iowa DNR included them in the Iowa Wildlife Plan.
      This page shows the species of concern in Iowa and how they are categorized.
    • Iowa Odonata Survey
      The Iowa Odonata Survey is a very loosely formed group of folks interested in odonata. This page gives a bit of history including a link to the most comprehensive paper written to date of Iowa's odes.
    • Resources
      While certainly not an all-inclusive list, this gives those who are new to identifying odonata some ideas for equipment, books, and other websites.
  • Entering a Record
    • Login
      In order to provide a certain sense of security to our data, you will need a login to enter a record. See below for how to set up an account. It's easy!
    • Record Details
      Start by entering the species name (you may choose either common or scientific names) and the reason for your report. The reason provides the person vetting your record with some triggers for other tasks. If you were lucky enough to find a new species to the state, select "New Species" and a text box will be available to type in the species name.
      Since you are logged in, your name and email will be entered already. Type in the date in MMDDYYYY format and check the level of evidence for your record. If you have a specimen, don't forget to indicate the location of the specimen in the comments box below.
      For older records you may indicate if the record has been published somewhere. Be sure to check if you have a photo to upload before you're finished. The location of your record is comprised of three pieces of information - select the county, type in a descriptive name, and click on the map to pinpoint to location. Note that when you select a county the map will be centered on that county and the plus/minus signs will help you find an area. You should be able to drag the map around to focus a place in the center of the map and be more accurate.
      The comments box allows for any kind of text that might be helpful. If you have already submitted your record to Odonata Central, enter the OC# for reference. Location of a specimen you collected is helpful here. If your record is by sight or catch and release, a few details of how you identified the creature is helpful for acceptance.
    • Add Photos
      Photos in jpg format up to a maximum width of 1000px are acceptable. Give your photo a caption such as lateral or dorsal, type the photographer's name, browse for the photo on your computer, and click on "Upload Photo". If you have more photos, repeat this process until you are finished. When you are done, or if you have no photos to upload, simply click on the finished button.
      The thank you message reminds you to also submit your record to Odonata Central. You may add another record or move on.
  • Personal Details
    • At the top of each of the following pages you may select which page you want to review that is specific to your account.
    • Profile
      This is all of the information we gather and store about you personally. It is primarily used to keep your email updated so that automated notices reach you.
    • Change Password
      This one should be self-explanatory and is especially useful when you have to request a password reset.
    • My Records
      This page is a simple list of all records you have submitted and their status in the review queue in descending date order. Sort by clicking on any column header.
    • Upload Photo
      Sometimes you may have a killer photo of a species but there was no need to enter a record. We are always looking for new photos for our species pages so upload them here.
  • Account Settings
    • You will find the link for all three of these functions on the login form.

      Create an Account

      Although you do not need an account to use most of this site, you will need one for entering records. Creating your login is quick and easy.

      The first step to creating an account is to enter some basic information about yourself, like your name and where you live. When you are finished click on next.
      This is where you create a user name, password, and a security question and answer of your choice which is used when resetting your password. If all goes well you should now be able to login.
    • Forgot Your User Name?
      User names and passwords - the bane of our existence in this 21st century. Use this to receive it via email. If your email address is not current or you have other difficulties, use the contact form at the bottom of the home page and someone will help you.
    • Reset Your Password
      We all forget passwords. Enter you user name and a randomly-generated one will be emailed to you using the email address we have on file. You will need to answer your security question you set up originally to continue. Once you receive it, login and go to change password. Trust me, you really don't want to keep this one! If your email address is not current or you have other difficulties, use the contact form at the bottom of the home page and someone will help you.