What's better than a shiny new field guide? How about a shiny new field guide about shiny beetles? But wait, there's more! This shiny new field guide about shiny beetles is free for the asking. The soon-to-be published Field Guide to the Jewel Beetles of Northeastern North America will start shipping in early 2013, and you can reserve a free copy now by emailing Morgan Jackson, one of the guide's authors.
Jewel beetles, otherwise known as metallic wood-boring beetles, are colorful, iridescent beetles popular with collectors. Some behave in amusing ways, like the giant Australian jewel beetles that mate with beer bottles in the outback. Others behave in not-so-amusing ways, like the exotic, invasive emerald ash borer, whose wood-boring habit has already killed millions of ash trees in North America.
The emerald ash borer, in fact, is the impetus behind this publication. Pleas for help finding these shiny, green invaders got the public interested in all the other iridescent beetles they were finding. The new field guide is the result of a partnership between the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the University of Guelph Insect Collection, and Invasive Species Centre.
Morgan, who also goes by the twitter handle @bioinfocus, recently announced the release of Field Guide to the Jewel Beetles of Northeastern North America on his blog, and you can find more details there. Of particular note is Morgan's promise that the book includes "an illustrated tutorial on how to dissect male genitalia." And that's all I'm going to say about that.