Wow....finally a beetle reference that a non- Coleoptera specialist can use has been recently released. This book is totally awesome in many ways. It is super well organized, has many many plates, fine descriptions of families and species, and is worth much more than the price I paid for it. I just got it recently, so I have many hours of use for it coming up. What I really like about this is that it fills the needs of someone who (admittedly) is not a guru with beetles. I have the American Beetles books Vol. 1&2 which are a bit tough for one to use easily. This book is very user- friendly and is kind of a link between Arnett's book mentioned earlier and White's Peterson's Field Guide to the Beetles.
I really can't believe the low price for a book such as this. I did find the best deal at Amazon.com. It has 1500 color images and covers the 115 families in the region. I paid $25 for it and am impressed. Paperback: 560 pages Publisher: Princeton University Press (June 8, 2014) Language: English ISBN-10: 0691133042 ISBN-13: 978-0691133041 Product Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 1.3 inches
This is surely one of the best books in my reference material for the money..
I just ordered one as well. Looks like a nice book. While I was in Amazon, I checked out what they had available in forceps. I found an assortment of Aven brand 6 inch models. They look like good quality, and are stainless steel.
I spent many years studying external anatomy of beetles and prefer to use dichotomous keys. Picture books don't work with Phyllophaga (June Beetles)which need genitalia dissected. And it doesn't work for North American Lycidae which are almost always impossible to identify without genitalia needing to be examined. I prefer using keys for beetle identification. Jeff Prill
I got the book yesterday afternoon. After browsing through it I was well satisfied with it's contents. Dichotomous keys, and genitalia dissection are fine and necessary for someone that has delved into beetle identification to a "major league" level. What I was really impressed by was the quality of photos that pictures live beetles as you would encounter them in the wild. Very clear, precise and to the point descriptions, as well as entire sections on collecting rearing, and natural histories of Coleoptera, make this a book that deserves a place in any entomologists library. Tom
Yes, but you still need keys to identify most of the beetles of the Eastern United States. Picture books don't work for me. Many of the species can't be identified by pictures alone. You have to study the external anatomy, the plates and the sub plates as well as the tarsi an the legs. Its all very important in identifying what you've collected. Jeff Prill
Post by beetlehorn on Jul 10, 2014 21:47:34 GMT -8
After having browsed through the local library, and the library on campus here, I saw a few books on beetles that had a section of color plates, but they still left me somewhat disappointed. When I got this new book my first thought was.....finally! A beetle book with good reference photos. I realize there are many species that are so similar that one needs to go deeper than just a photo to get a positive ID. As a reference guide though, it is valuable to someone like myself that has collected Lepidoptera and is starting to get into beetle collecting. You have to know what family you are starting from, and then narrow it down. For 26 bucks, it is a great deal! So Jeff, is there another book you would suggest that would take me to the next level? Perhaps something that would compliment this book? I'm seriously considering a dissecting scope as well. Tom
N.M. Downie and R. H. Arnett. The Beetles of Eastern North America. Volume I and II. 1996. The Sandhill Crane Press. Gainesville, Florida. You might be able to get it from a University Library or by Interlibrary loan. You also need to get a good general entomology textbook that shows the external anatomy of the coleopteran body, also the sub plates and punctuation and so forth. Study it and learn it. I would photocopy the the text and keep it nearby. I have the original books. Jeff Prill
Post by beetlehorn on Jul 11, 2014 16:04:48 GMT -8
Thanks Jeff. I will make a note of the books you recommended, however at the age of 50 Im' not so sure I can study the material and retain it as well as I did when I was attending the university in my early 20's. I'll check with the university library for those books. I wonder if they are still in print?
Oh oh, this section, as I understood it, was for book/ media reviews.
I took a newly released book, bought it, and shared my thoughts on this particular book. I would have assumed that replies to my posting would be based on one's own experience with this book, not differing takes on identification principles. While I clearly stated that this book may not meet the needs of beetle gurus, I would have hoped that discussion would have ensued from those actually having purchased or having borrowed the book. It is more than a picture book.
If someone gets the book and cares to share problems with it, I would welcome that. Opinions from those who have the book are what I believed this section to be about.
This book is not the end all for beetle IDs, but it sure will get 95% of us into the process of identifying the multitudes of eastern coleops. It will give one an idea of where to begin and follow ups with the Arnett books may naturally follow.
Simply put......check out the book, make your thoughts known, and let's move on. Judging this book on my, or anyone else's, review is ineffective if one has not even seen it.
My suggestion for all.......add this reference book to your library. What it offers, for the price, is the deal of the century.
Post by beetlehorn on Jul 11, 2014 21:42:34 GMT -8
Right Bill. It would be unfair to make a judgment call on a book that someone hasn't read or even looked at. Perhaps I should have asked Jeff if he had the chance to review it or even just glance through it. I have the inclination to believe he would like the book. It is akin to someone making an opinion, or assumption of a certain car that they never even drove!
My reaction to the book was the same as Beetlehorn's: finally, a North American beetle book with pictures! While The Beetles of Eastern North America volumes are indispensable for accurate ID, they are very expensive and keying is tedious work. The Evans book fills a much-needed gap between simple field guides targeted at non-coleopterists and comprehensive key-based volumes for professionals and serious amateurs. Having a photo of the specimen allows the reader to narrow down the ID of his specimen before keying it out. In my opinion, this book is well worth the price.
I just saw this wonderful book yesterday at Barnes & Knoble booksellers. It prices out there at $35.00 but is still worth every penny. I leafed through it and summarily found it well organized (generally speaking); with beautiful photo's of the most commonly encountered or important species. It also has nice sections as earlier noted on collecting methods, rearing, and natural history of Coleoptera. For those of us who casually collect Coleoptera I think that I would find it an indispensable resource. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it will probably be THE beetle resource book used by Eastern U.S. collectors for many years to come.......