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  • Edition: Revised
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2006-06-30
  • Publisher: Firefly Books Ltd
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Meticulously researched and illustrated with color photographs, Insects is a landmark reference book that is ideal for any naturalist or entomologist. To enhance exact identification of insects, the photographs in this encyclopedic reference were taken in the field -- and are not pinned specimens. Insects enables readers to quickly and accurately identify most insects. The more than 50 pages of picture keys -- containing hundreds of illustrations -- lead to the appropriate chapter and specific photos to confirm identification. The keys are surprisingly comprehensive and easy for non-specialists to use. Insects features: Detailed chapters covering all insect orders and the insect families of eastern North America Brief examination of common families of related terrestrial arthropods 4,000 color photographs illustrating typical behaviors and key characteristics 28 picture keys for quick and accurate insect identification Expert guidance on observing, collecting and photographing insects Almost 80 percent of all named animal species are insects and closely related arthropods. With millions of insect species still waiting to be discovered, humans are clearly a two-legged minority in an overwhelmingly six-legged world. This book is required reading for anyone interested in entomology.

Author Biography

Steve Marshall has been a professor of entomology at the University of Guelph since 1982, where he developed a major insect collection and carries out research on insect systematics and biodiversity. He has discovered hundreds of new species, several new genera, and even two new subfamilies, and lives near Elora, Ontario.

Steve Marshall has been a professor of entomology at the University of Guelph since 1982, where he developed a major insect collection and carries out research on insect systematics and biodiversity. He has discovered hundreds of new species, several new genera, and even two new subfamilies, and lives near Elora, Ontario.

Table of Contents

Preface 7(6)
Introduction 13(6)
The Wingless Insects: Springtails, Diplurans and Bristletails
Mayflies, Dragonflies and Damselflies: The ``Old Winged'' Insects
Cockroaches, Termites, Mantids and Other Orthopteroids
Grasshoppers, Crickets and Katydids
True Bugs and Other Hemipteroids
Butterflies and Moths
Lacewings, Antlions, Fishflies and Related Insects
Flies, Scorpionflies and Fleas
Sawflies, Wasps, Bees and Ants
Non-insect Arthropods
Observing, Collecting and Photographing Insects
Insect Picture Keys 615(54)
Selected References 669(5)
Acknowledgments 674(1)
Index of Photographs 675(21)
General Index 696


PrefaceThis book is based on material originally gathered in support of a third-year entomology course -- "The Natural History of Insects" -- that I started teaching at University of Guelph in 1982. The text is based on the lecture notes for that course, the picture keys are based on the course manual and the photographs are part of a collection that was initiated to provide color to my lectures in several entomology courses over the past 20 years.The text sections in this book provide an introduction to insect diversity and natural history, with basic information about all major insect families. The photos and captions provide a visual overview of the diversity of each family with discussions of common or especially interesting genera and species. Picture keys are provided to the orders and common families of most orders. The emphasis is on northeastern North America, loosely interpreted as anything east of the Mississippi River and north of the state of Georgia. Insect identificationAlthough the focus of this book is on the common families of northeastern North American insects, the keys and photos should be useful for identifying orders and most families anywhere in the world. If you are trying to identify an insect to order, start with the illustrated keys (pages 615-666). When you think you have a match, turn to the appropriate section of the book and look over the full spectrum of photos for that order.If you know the order and want to identify your insect to the family level you can either jump right to the photos and captions, or start with the illustrated keys. The illustrated keys may not take you right to the family level, but they will guide you to the correct part of the book to look for further information. The photos and captions themselves should serve as a practical field guide to the family or subfamily level for common insects from anywhere in North America, and will serve for positive identification of some eastern insects at the genus or species level.Almost all the photographs are of northeastern species, although a few interesting groups that do not occur in the east (honey ants, pollen wasps) were slipped in for interest, and a few groups are illustrated with photos from outside North America, as noted. The great majority of the photographs were taken in Ontario, Canada (mostly the Bruce Peninsula or southern Ontario), but a few are from Mountain Lake Biological Station, Virginia (where I teach a field entomology course), and elsewhere in the eastern United States.The illustrated family keys are designed to be as user-friendly as possible, with an emphasis on characteristics visible to the naked eye or easily discernable with a handheld magnifying glass. Most keys represent a compromise between ease of use and comprehensiveness. The keys in this book lean towards ease of use and should be treated as shortcuts rather than definitive roadmaps. The keys to families in the larger orders (Diptera, Hymenoptera, Coleoptera) are designed to aid in the identification of typical members of commonly encountered families, and the odd rarity or exception will not key out. Comprehensive keys to the families of these orders are listed in the references, but most require experience, patience and a good microscope to use. For example, the key to families of beetles in American Beetles (Arnett et al., 2002) is 185 complex couplets long; the key to families of flies in the Manual of North American Diptera (McAlpine et al., 1981) is 152 couplets long. Those keys will work for almost all North American beetles and flies; the simplified keys in this book will probably work for over 95 percent, including almost all routinely encountered taxa. I think it is a good compromise, but it is a compromise, and the serious student will want to check problematic identifications usin

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