Beetle of Eastern North America

AUTHOR: Arthur V. Evans

Review by Tony deGroot

This book is not a field guide. You would not want to take this big boy out on a hike as it is a hefty one weighing in at nearly 2kg. But, it is an excellent desk companion for identifying and studying beetles. The book is jam packed with a huge selection of the common beetles including over 1500 fabulous photographs portraying 1406 different species on 560 pages. It is well organized as the beetles are categorized in all 115 families that occur in Eastern North America. And, I must add, it was very reasonably priced for such a handsome and well-made product.

Of course, not all beetles will be in this edition as there are supposed to be over 25,000 different varieties in North America. No such affordable book exists as it would require an entire encyclopedia set to display all of them. I think this book does the Coleoptera world justice by showing many of the common species that we will more likely encounter. Or hopefully, we could at least zero in on the family the beetle represents.

As with many nature guides, this one opens with some fascinating facts including beetle anatomy, reproduction, natural history, conservations and aids in identifying the different families and species.

Although I find the book bulky, I think it was the right way to go in this case as its beauty is in its design. Most pages have 4 species, displayed in a decent sized photograph. And I have to say, that the photographs are first rate. The descriptions and texts are very informative.

Because of this book, I think I will take an extra look at each beetle I meet and try to add many more to my photographic collection.