7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Simply the best book on insects I have ever seen., Sept. 4 2007
I have seen many books on insects, from the Peterson's field guide series to lesser-known works, and none come even remotely close to the coverage, the image quality, or containing the sheer number of insects as does this book. The images are fantastic, the introductory texts to each insect group are informative and anything but dry, and at the end is a good section on observing insects and then a set of highly usable and clear keys to help all budding entomologists identify their insects.
The book is specific to the insects of eastern North America (but many species are found continent-wide, too), and some of the species pictured are to be found in the south, others in the north of the book's area of coverage. The identification keys are likely to work on all common to uncommon examples of the groups of insects to be found in all of Canada and the U.S., but to use the keys some magnification tool is needed (a good hand magnifying lens to dissection microscope). For someone wanting to put names to their collected insects, the keys are worth the purchase price of this book alone.
Though extremely useful for identification, this is NOT a field guide -- it contains over 700 typewriter-size pages bound in hardcover -- it will NOT fit comfortably in your back pocket or your day bag. But, as a professional entomologist I have found it useful to refer to it when someone has brought me an insect -- more often than not it is in the book with a good photograph.
I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in entomology (the study of insects): gardeners, nature-enthusiasts, collectors, etc. Children will be fascinated by the pictures of "bugs", and this book will hopefully spur a number of them to take up entomology as an entertaining and educational hobby, if not a profession.
Finally, at full price this book is a steal. I have paid much more for lesser quality texts, and if you can snap this up at the reduced price the better for you!