Host plants of leaf beetle species occurring in the United States and CanadaBy Clark et al.
Coleopterists Society, Special Publication no. 2, 476 pp., 2004
The leaf beetles are among the most conspicuous beetles on plants. They are perhaps best known for their phytophagous habit, a trait that has assured for them an enduring place of importance. Many species are quite host-specific, feeding only on a single plant species or on several closely related plants. However, others are generalists that feed on a wide variety of plants.
This host list is a cross-indexed catalog to the known plant associations for the leaf beetles (Megalopodidae, Orsodacnidae, Chrysomelidae excluding Bruchinae) of America north of Mexico and of Hawaii. Plant association records from the literature are summarized for 1,341 leaf beetle species occurring in the region. Under each beetle species, associations are briefly recounted, typically listing the plants as they were originally cited, sometimes as common names and sometimes as antiquated scientific names. The modern scientific names are given as well.
WHAT GOOD ARE BUGS? INSECTS IN THE WEB OF LIFEBy Gilbert Waldbauer
Harvard Unviversity Press, 2003
This book is aimed at the general public and as such the text is very lightly sprinkled with scientific names. Should you wish to investigate something further, then the carefully selected reading list for each chapter becomes very useful. I've already used it with great advantage.
In it I found something profoundly true and worth bearing in mind when you next spot a bug:
"For every insect we see, there are tens of thousands that we do not see, because they are small or hidden beneath the soil, within a plant or an animal, under a rock, or in some other "crack or crevice" of the environment."
Exploring The Nature Around YouBy Greg Dodge
Brownbag/Catbird Productions, 2005
An interesting and entertaining medley of natural history videography with informative, but non-technical narration. There are five features of about ten minutes each on this DVD. Of most interest for BugGuide is Bees and Wasps. This has excellent footage of several common eastern hymenoptera. The sped-up sequence of nest construction by a Eumenes is particularly neat. Also notable are beautiful sequences of a nesting Great Golden Digger Wasp and of an Isodontia, nesting in an old garden hose!
Other features have substantial arthropod footage: River Walk, Field Trip: Meadows, Fields, and Pastures, and What's going on in YOUR backyard?.
Bugs of British ColumbiaBy John Acorn, Illustrated by Ian Sheldon
Lone Pine Publishing, 2001
A basic but representative guide to "the 125 Coolest Bugs of British Columbia." I have found this book very useful as a starting point when trying to identify local insects. Ian Sheldon's illustrations are attractive and accurate. John Acorn's text is a little too cute at times. He tries too hard to make entomology interesting and fun at the expense of more relevant information about some of his insect subjects (he doesn't have much room for his descriptive text -- half a page for each insect). But he generally leaves the reader with enough stimulation to search further in more specialized sources.