A Guide to Common Freshwater Invertebrates of North America Paperback – Jul 10 2014
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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.
About the Author
Dr. J. Reese Voshell, Jr. holds degrees from Randolph-Macon College (B.S., 1969) and Virginia Tech (Ph.D., Zoology, 1976), and 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.
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Top Customer Reviews
Freshwater invertebrates make up 70 percent of all known animals, microbes and plants. These skeletonless critters are important, in the food chain and to the environment. Some are scrumptious food, such as crayfish and river shrimp. All are hard-working environmentalists, earthworm-like in breaking down and cycling organic matter and nutrients. All are reality-checks to freshwater health. All are wake-up calls to changed living conditions, nature's temper tantrums, and pollution.
All are easy-to-know, too, because of this beautifully, one-of-a-kind illustrated, organized and written book. Illustrator Amy Bartlett Wright's artwork is outstanding. So is author J Reese Voshell, Jr's know-how. For he gives each invertebrate's breathing and feeding needs, life history, living space, movement, and stress level. In addition, he tells how to set up acceptable aquarium living for live catch.
Gravel can be on the bottom. But add stones, sticks, live plants, dead leaves, and bottom sediment, from where the invertebrates were caught. Water must be from where they were caught, too. It has fine detritus and microbe tidbits. Otherwise, a pump must bubble air in. That gets killer chlorine out of treated water.
An air stone letting out small amounts of air keeps down natural decay and smells. Likewise, it keeps water chock full of dissolved oxygen. So does a screen cover. Also, it keeps invertebrates from getting out.
Big chores are food and water.Read more ›
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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