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A Guide to Common Freshwater Invertebrates of North America Paperback – April 19, 2002


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A Guide to Common Freshwater Invertebrates of North America + Field Guide to Freshwater Invertebrates of North America (Field Guide To... (Academic Press)) + Guide to Aquatic Insects & Crustaceans
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: McDonald and Woodward Publishing Company; First Edition edition (April 19, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0939923874
  • ISBN-13: 978-0939923878
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 1.1 x 5.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book is an excellent introduction to the diversity of invertebrates found in the lakes and streams of North America. It is well written and easy to follow for novices and more experienced investigators of these animals. It is intended for a wide audience and includes helpful information for middle and high school students and teachers, as well as local citizens engaged in stream monitoring or other projects investigating their local watersheds. It will also be useful for college-level courses that involve aquatic ecosystems but do not focus specifically on aquatic invertebrates. Additional readers are likely to include anglers and other naturalists interested in learning more about life below the water's surface." --- American Entomologist, Summer 2004

"Any naturalist who works with freshwater environments will want a copy of this book as a valued reference. It provides an amazing and comprehensive summary of the most common aquatic invertebrates." --- Ohio Dragon Flier, September 2002

"[Voshell's book is] much more than the typical field guides on the market today.... A comprehensive guide and study tool, it is part field guide and part biology text, the combination of which is what makes this book unique and valuable.... As complete a guide book as you will ever find or need." --- Ecobeetle Book Reviews, August 8, 2002

About the Author

Dr J Reese Voshell has taught in the Department of Entomology at Virginia Tech since 1976. He has received numerous research grants to study the effects of pollution and environmental stress on freshwater invertebrates, and has been named to the university's Academy of Teaching Excellence. His 30 years of teaching, outreach, and research have convinced him that people of all ages, educational backgrounds, and personal interests can become fascinated with freshwater invertebrates.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Once again, these are minor criticism and I use this book a lot.
Robert Hamilton IV
A GUIDE TO COMMON FRESHWATER INVERTEBRATES OF NORTH AMERICA is as complete a guide book as you will ever find or need.
"ecobeetle"
The colored pictures are superb, and the text is clearly written and very informative.
David J. Wilson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Robert Hamilton IV on September 9, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent guide to family-level invertebrate identification. It has wonderful pictures and excellent background information on the organisms.

Section I has the fundamentals of freshwater invertebrate biology. It discusses basic ecology of invertebrates and provides generalized information about habitat, feeding, movement, breathing, and stress tolerance. This section also discusses common methods of studying freshwater

invertebrates and provides references for further study.

Section II has an identification mechanism for identifying the invertebrates. The authors call it Quick Guide. The guide uses line drawings with written distinguishing features. It functions in a similar manner to a dichotomous key, but is not as complex.

Section III has natural history and ecological information for each group in the book. This section presents distinguishing features, explanation of names, habitat, movement, feeding, breathing, life history, significance, and stress tolerance for each specific group.

I have only two minor criticisms of this book. One criticism is that the book shows only adult beetles, when many times the larval forms are collected. This book would not help in their identification. Second, since most of the identification is pictoral, some groups (especially snails) would be difficult for beginners to distinguish. Once again, these are minor criticism and I use this book a lot.

Overall, I enjoy this book on many levels and it contains a wealth of information. As an aquatic ecologist I "live and die" by McCafferty and Merritt and Cummins, but those are large, cumbersome tomes. If I need a quick check on a fact, or to see a picture, I can easily take this book into the field or wherever I need it. I strongly recommend this book to you.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By "ecobeetle" on August 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
Anyone with an interest in the outdoors or natural history finds wonder and amazement in all organisms one comes across. Even the smallest of creatures holds fascination on those keen on natural life and many times will leave you wondering, `What is that ??'. A GUIDE TO COMMON FRESHWATER INVERTEBRATES OF NORTH AMERICA by J. Reese Voshell, Jr. is a wonderfully complete introduction to the small organisms that we find in the shallows of our local freshwater ponds, lakes, creeks or streams. Beautifully illustrated by Amy Bartlett Wright, A GUIDE TO COMMON FRESHWATER INVERTEBRATES OF NORTH AMERICA is much more than the typical field guides on the market today. The first section of the book takes the reader through the ecology and fundamentals of freshwater biology and freshwater invertebrates. Well written in an easy to follow flow that is indicative of his 25 years of research and study, J. Reese Voshell, Jr. explains how to use this book and introduces the reader to the guidelines to effectively study freshwater invertebrates. The rest of the book is split into two parts, the first not too different from most field guides are the illustrated descriptions of 100 of the most common freshwater invertebrates with easy to follow distinguishing characteristics. This identification section is referenced by page to the third section that contains a detailed description on the distribution, habitat, biology and feeding habitats of each of the individual freshwater invertebrates. All written in an easy to follow format, A GUIDE TO COMMON FRESHWATER INVERTEBRATES OF NORTH AMERICA is a comprehensive guide and study tool, it is part field guide and part biology text, the combination of which is what makes this book unique and valuable. A GUIDE TO COMMON FRESHWATER INVERTEBRATES OF NORTH AMERICA is as complete a guide book as you will ever find or need.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By David J. Wilson on January 19, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If I could recommend only one book to someone interested in getting started to learn about benthic macroinvertebrates, Voshell and Wright's Guide to Common Freshwater Invertebrates of North America would be it. The colored pictures are superb, and the text is clearly written and very informative. The introductory section of the book provides information to get the novice started: what are freshwater invertebrates and why are they of interest; how are they classified; a quick look at freshwater ecology; basics of freshwater invertebrate biology; and how to study these fascinating little critters.
The second section, which includes Amy Wright's beautiful pictures, provides very clearly written material on the distinguishing features of the various families. The third section, which is keyed to the second, provides information about the ecology, habitat, movement, feeding, breathing, life history, and significance (including pollution tolerance) for each of the families discussed.
This book is an excellent introduction. True, it is not as complete as Peckarsky, et al, Thorp and Covich, or McCafferty and Provonsha. On the other hand, it is nowhere nearly as intimidating as these much larger, very detailed, and more technical books are. For the amateur, Voshell and Wright's Guide provides a fine stepping stone to these other, less accessible works. I should expect that a bright, interested high school student would have no trouble using this book. Certainly it was a blessing to a retired chemist who needed to get up to speed on benthic macroinvertebrates.
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