Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
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Insects: Their Natural History And Diversity: With a Photographic Guide to Insects of Eastern North America
By Stephen A. Marshall
Firefly Books Ltd, 2006
ISBN: 1552979008
Cite: 55904 with citation markup [cite:55904]
From the publishers website;

4,000 color photographs, illustrations, charts, bibliography, 28 picture keys, index

Insects enables readers to quickly and accurately identify most insects. The more than 50 pages of picture keys -- containing hundreds of illustrations -- lead to the appropriate chapter and specific photos to confirm identification. The keys are surprisingly comprehensive and easy for non-specialists to use.

. Detailed chapters covering all insect orders and the insect families of eastern North America
. Brief examination of common families of related terrestrial arthropods
. 4,000 color photographs illustrating typical behaviors and key characteristics
. 28 picture keys for quick and accurate insect identification
. Expert guidance on observing, collecting and photographing insects

I bought this book for $105 w
I bought this book for $105 with tax and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE it. I carried around with me everywhere for the longest time, just looking through it and reading. It's the first book I check when IDing insects.

cost of the book
what a big deal i've got! i just bought it for 60 box (canada dollars) Just like you've said, I ABSOLUTELY love it! it is a great book and since i have it i identified a few bugs i was not able to

Received mine today
Amazing amount of work for one person. Is this book useful/worth buying? The keys and text are useful but the 4,000 colour photos cannot compete with the today's total on BugGuide of 42,551 photos. BG has 8,509 pages, 4,331 species pages from a total of 5,947 contributors; and grows daily. And it's free!
My initial impression is that it a nice book but BugGuide has better images (much larger) and covers more species. BugGuide has dealt a "death blow" to general texts showing insect diversity. There is still a demand for speciality books that deal with every species in a group.

42000+ yes, but(and I hate to
42000+ yes, but(and I hate to say it because I really like the concept of this site) more than 1/2 of the images are worthless for anything, and with people posting; for instance Brochymena in Pentatomidae, and with all the authority in the world claiming it to be a "longhorn beetle"; or people so inexperienced they post a bumblebee(Bombus) as "Bee?" in ID section, there is just too much "FRASS" that needs to be ejected for this to be seriously considered a "Guide to ID". There certainly is some good material here, but with so many knowledgeless people able to post at will and not following up with corrections and what, it cannot be taken too seriously. Any info I glean from this site I use with great caution. I certainly understand that the editors cannot find nearly enough time to Straighten things out and sort through the JUNK! It takes more than just an image to definatively ID anything but the most distinctive of insects, and I will Forever be using written keys to ID what I can myself. There will always be a need for guides of that nature, if only more people would use them before they post some of their images, maybe a larger percentage of those images would be of a caliber that allows an ID to be made from them. I do find the site GREAT, but consider some of the info. as suspect. You by the way have some of the better images and more knowledge than the group I speak of. I look forward to both this and Erics guide.

The beauty of BugGuide
is that nothing is cast in stone; errors can be corrected and eventually the really poor images will be frassed. Apparently Dr. Marshall has praised BugGuide.

I'll bet Marshall wishes
he could have used many of the images on bugguide. Although Richard is correct that there are plenty of poor images on bugguide that are hardly of any use for ID purposes, we also have plenty of species images that are much better than Marshall was able to muster. And yes they are a whole lot bigger.

I enjoy having the book and reading here and there in it to broaden my knowledge. However, the author was unable to devote much text to any one group, in part due to the myriad photos of northeastern insects. Bugguide has room for reems of text and is cetainly underutilized in this regard. A great deal more observational data could be recorded here. I get the idea most photographers avoid writing whenever possible.

Yay! A-a-a-ck! Yay....:-)
Mixed emotions here since I have my own field guide coming out shortly (probably January, 2007). BUT, I think the 'hype' is truly justified in this case. I received promotional materials on the book, and the author, Dr. Stephen A. Marshall, even contributed images to 'my' guide, so I know the quality of images will be superb. At 8 1/2 X 11, and over 700 pages, it might be somewhat cumbersome in the field, but an excellent desk reference for sure. All-in-all, I highly recommend this reference. Kudos to Stephen!

Your field guide
The Marshall book is amazing in its detail. I'm just into insects and reading that one cause of "fluffed-up cattails" is by an insect rather than merely desiccation opened a whole new world to me. I'm building a collection: both Eaton's and Marshall's books will be in it. I have already added books like Tracks and Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates by Charley Eiseman and Noah Charney, and The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Bugs: Garden Insects of North America by Whitney Cranshaw. They are great. The problem with bugs is the more you know, the more you realize that you don't know and that you want to know! I've accepted that. The incredible lives and species are more than any book or person is capable of understanding. What is fun is knowing that as I begin to learn that I'm in for the ride of my life!

western U.S.
We need one of these for western N. America now. :)
Meanwhile, I'll find it very useful to have both Eric's book and Stephen Marshall's book in my home library.

I'm ordering one of each.

A 700 page, hard cover volume is NOT a field guide, but I have heard good things about this - and the price seems quite reasonable.

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