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A Field Guide to Insects: America North of Mexico (Peterson Field Guides) 2nd Edition
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Consider the lucky birders. In North America there are less than 900 species of birds. While some may be only 3 or four inches long, others are measured in feet. New birding guides are issued every year. And while a few species, like the empidonax flycatchers may be difficult to tell apart, all of the species are illustrated in most guides, and 90% are identifiable if the birder gets a good look at them.
Now consider the amateur entomologist. There are over 80,000 species of insects in North America. Most insects are relatively small. Telling the difference between species may require examining the vein pattern in wings. The field guides to insects illustrate at most 700 insects. No wonder there are more bird watchers than insect watchers. And no wonder there hasn't been a major insect field guide published since 1981!
A field guide to insects then probably can't help you identify most specific species. The authors feel they have done their job if they can help you identify the family.
The Peterson guide provided a decision tree just inside the front cover that helped me to identify the order of the insects. The tree also provided the page of the guide where the entries for this order could be found. Next I had to flip through the entries, which are arranged in taxological order, examining each of the black and white drawings to find an insect that most closely resembled my specimen. Occasionally a species listing bore a reference to a color drawing found on collected plates in the center of the book. Occasionally detailed drawing were provided for identification, such as a comparison of the wing venation of a family of bees.Read more ›
Here we have Number 19 in the Peterson Field Guide Series, published in 1970 and still in the original edition. Borror, an entomologist and well-known sound-recordist, is the author and contributed line-drawings. The main illustrations, in colour and monochrome, are by Richard White.
With over 90,000 species of insects in America north of Mexico, a field guide to the insects must choose between being highly selective or else providing an overview to enable the user to identify major taxonomic groups. This guide achieves the latter aim admirably, allowing the reader to identify most insects to family level for 579 families. Apart from the systematic text, there are introductory chapters on collecting insects, studying live insects and basic insect biology as well as a handy Glossary.
Because of the mammoth diversity of insects, a single volume work cannot be expected to allow the reader to identify insects to species by using colour plates.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The main problem with insect books is that there are hundreds of thousands of species and any book can only cover a small sampling. Read morePublished 1 month ago by B. Kirkpatrick
No complaints. A great book for my Forensic Entomology course at university.Published 2 months ago by Chelsea Coppock
Not a bad book, but has line drawings rather than photos. Ordered in error, meant to order the National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Insects. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Joyce Goode
4 stars because the book is mostly out of date on the larger groupings of Insecta but the info on the families are for the most part correct. Read morePublished 10 months ago by scarlet aguilar
There is a ton of writing in this book which may have been to advanced for my nephews but the center of the book has an area full of photo's that they enjoyed going through.Published 10 months ago by Joe