NEW INSECT BOOK

Beetles.

Beetles

Richard Jones

Beetles are arguably the most diverse organisms in the world, with nearly half a million beetle species described and catalogued in our museums, more than any other type of living thing. This astonishing species diversity is matched by a similar diversity in shape, form, size, life history, ecology, physiology and behaviour.

Beetles occur everywhere, and do everything. And yet they form a clearly discrete insect group, typically characterised by their attractively compact form, with flight wings folded neatly under smooth hard wing-cases. Almost anyone could recognise a beetle, indeed many are intimately associated with human society. Groups like ladybirds are familiar to us from a very young age. The sacred scarabs of the ancient Egyptians were given iconic, if not god-like, status. Despite this ancient and easy familiarity with beetles, the Coleoptera remains tainted by the notion that it is a 'difficult' group of insects.

Richard Jones' groundbreaking New Naturalist volume on beetles encourages those enthusiasts who would otherwise be put off by the, to date, rather technical literature that has dominated the field, providing a comprehensive natural history of this fascinating and beautiful group of insects.

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