Stunning photographic guide to bugs, from the beautiful to the bizarre and every bug in between
Smithsonian Handbook of Interesting Insects presents striking photographic profiles of insects, each one specially selected from the 34 million specimens found in one of the oldest and most important entomology collection in the world, held by London’s Natural History Museum. The book showcases more than one hundred significant bug species, including the ruby-tailed wasp, the garden tiger moth, the jewel beetle, the flying stick insect, the orchid bee, and many others.
Magnificent full-color photographs show the bugs in detail, so that readers can learn to distinguish, for example, the translucent abdomen of the great pied hoverfly from the yellow or orange markings on a giant scoliid wasp. Each detailed and dazzling photograph is accompanied by a caption describing the bug’s lifestyle, distribution, size, and key characteristics. An insightful introduction also explores the different orders and families found in the insect classes and an explanation of how they have evolved. Based on the most up-to-date science and accessibly written, the book will appeal to scientists and amateur science readers alike.
PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY “Curators from the Natural History Museum in London present a fascinating gallery of insects in this richly photographed work. […] It is rewarding just to peer at the handsome photographs and to discover, for instance, that the Goliath beetle resembles an Art Nouveau brooch, or that the leaf beetle is downright cute. The text accompanying each photograph is rarely longer than five sentences and offers facts about, among other topics, distribution (the ubiquitous stink bug is “almost cosmopolitan” in its dispersion around the world) and size (the Atlas moth sports a 10-inch to 12-inch wingspan), as well as humor (lantern bugs are “supposed to taste like bacon, ” according to aficionados in Madagascar). […] this book of little creatures will be a welcome arrival for amateur entomologists.”