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National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Insects and Spiders of North America

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National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Insects and Spiders of North America
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The Bottom Line

The National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Insects and Spiders of North America is an entomology textbook and identification guide rolled into one compact book. Take this guide into the field, and you'll be able to identify many of the species you might commonly encounter. Additional chapters on insect anatomy, development, classification, and collecting provide the insect enthusiast with a very complete reference.
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Pros

  • Full color photograph of each insect, with key identification features noted
  • Concise but thorough profile of each insect
  • Introductory material on insect and spider anatomy, classification, and development
  • Additional information on keeping, collecting, and photographing insects
  • Includes non-insect arthropods, such as millipedes, pillbugs, and scorpions

Cons

  • Some larger orders seem underrepresented

Description

  • Field guide to North American insects, spiders, and their kin
  • Includes 1,600 color photographs and over 940 species
  • Organized taxonomically, by class, order, and family
  • Written by Dr. Arthur V. Evans
  • Full index,glossary, and list of web and print resources

Guide Review - National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Insects and Spiders of North America

Drafting a field guide to the insects and spiders of North America seems to me to be an impossible task. How can one possibly represent such a diverse and abundant group of animals in one portable reference? You'll have to ask Dr. Arthur V. Evans the answer to that question, because he's succeeded in his National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Insects and Spiders of North America.

The NWF Field Guide to Insects and Spiders covers more than insects and spiders. Dr. Evans includes representative species from seven classes of arthropods: entognaths, insects, arachnids, millipedes, centipedes, branchiopods, and malacostracans. Don't know what a malacostracan is? Read Dr. Evans' excellent introduction to this section of the field guide. In fact, you'll find detailed profiles of each class and order in the book, followed by photos and descriptions of some species in each group.

Look up any insect or arthropod in this field guide, and you'll find a concise description that includes habitat, range, size, key field marks, a color photo, and some information about its life cycle. Within each order, specimens are grouped by family, making it easy to compare related insects.

This is so much more than a field guide, though. Start at the beginning, and you'll find a full 40-page primer on insect and spider anatomy, development, and classification. Dr. Evans also introduces you to the other arthropod classes covered in the text. The book cover, which is waterproof for use in the field, folds out with diagrams explaining key anatomical features of different arthropod groups. Turn to the back of the guide, and you'll find a tutorial on keeping, collecting, and photographing insects. The NWF Field Guide to Insects and Spiders also includes a glossary, index, and list of web and print resources to further your learning.

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