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An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles


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About the Author

Arthur V. Evans is a free-lance author and photographer living in Richmond, VA. Charles L. Bellamy works for the Plant Pest Diagnostic Laboratory, Calif. Dept. of Food & Agriculture, Sacramento. Lisa Charles Watson is an award-winning photographer who works in New York City.


Beetles (Coleoptera) are the most diverse and successful insects that ever lived on Earth. They appeared before the dinosaurs, the ants, or the flies, and today there are more than a quarter million species of them. Their recipe for success? An armored skeleton that protects the entire body, including the flight wings, allowing beetles to enter and flourish in every habitat on Earth. This work introduces the lay reader to these extraordinary creatures through a readable text that conveys the enthusiasm of those who study beetles, and splendid color photographs, by Lisa Charles Watson and others, of more than 220 species. The six chapters cover beetle numbers and diversity, their body plan and functions, their life histories, habits, and defenses, their evolution, their interactions with humans, and their aesthetic importance and conservation. An excellent addition to public libraries. [This title was chosen as one of LJ's Best Reference Books of 1996; see p. 36-40.]‘Annette Aiello, Smithsonian Tropical Research Inst., Panama

"These two scientists not only display some of the most spectacular specimens, but also give fascinating accounts of the strange life cycles and morphologies of these often ignored arthropods."--"E Magazine

YA‘A beautiful and thorough look at the entire realm of beetles including the locales in which they are found, history, anatomy and physiology, and their relationships with humans. The incredible full-color photographs bring readers up close without a magnifying lens at hand, and the seemingly infinite variations within the species due to size, structure, and color are easily seen. Diagrams clarify concepts that could not be photographed. If the outstanding, large, colorful photos do not grab browsers' attention, the opening statement will: "Beetles...representing a fifth of all living organisms...." While the text is scientific, it is very readable. The appendixes supply information not found in other books. While this title will not serve as a guide for identification, it is an excellent resource for naturalists.‘Gary Fillmore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA

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