A Beginners’ Guide to Identifying the Exuviae of Wisconsin Odonata to Family

A Beginners’ Guide to Identifying the Exuviae of Wisconsin Odonata to Family, by Freda Van den Broek and Walter Sanford was published in the Spring 2021 issue of the Wisconsin Dragonfly Society newsletter.

The article is richly illustrated with lots of photographs, many annotated, and includes a decision tree flow chart for identifying dragonfly and damselfly exuviae to the family level, plus a photo-illustrated glossary.

Wisconsin Odonata News | Vol. 9 Issue 1 | Spring 2021

Although the guide is focused primarily on odonate exuviae found in Wisconsin, it should be useful for any location in the United States of America.

Giving credit where credit is due

Freda Van den Broek did most of the heavy lifting; my contribution was modest. Congratulations for a job well done, Freda — it was a pleasure working with you!

Copyright © 2021 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

4 Responses to “A Beginners’ Guide to Identifying the Exuviae of Wisconsin Odonata to Family”

  1. Michael Boatwright Says:

    Nicely done!

  2. Wally Jones Says:


    I only wish I was expert enough to benefit from the work. When I do manage to find an exuvia, it is by accident.

    • waltersanford Says:

      There was a time, not long ago, when I didn’t know much about odonate larvae/exuviae. But I was determined to learn, and I’m still learning — the more I know, the more I know I don’t know. Finding exuviae is almost always a happy accident while hunting adults. If you find one, then collect it and see whether you can identify it to the family level. You might be surprised — sometimes it’s almost easy!

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