Aquatic Entomology: The Fishermen’s Guide and Ecologists’ Illustrated Guide to Insects and Their Relatives
Aquatic Biology and Natural History are subjects of interests to many, whether they be related to one’s vocational education, one’s avocation, or purely to one’s appreciation for the living order of the world. This book has been written not only for entomologists, ecologists, and students of aquatic entomology, but also for sport fishermen, naturalists, and environmental assessment specialists. For those who may not have some vested interested in nature and ecology, this book will provide a pictorial introduction to some of the most fascinating life forms on earth and, hopefully, "wet" the appetite for understanding the aquatic insects, their environment, and their relationship to human life.
An oldie, but goodie…, December 16, 2004
The book is now quite old. There have been several regroupings at the family level since this book has been published so even if you use it correctly, you can incorrectly identify insects. Also, if you are serious about identifying aquatic insects, the family-level keys of this book are insufficient to give your work credibility. Those are the two problems with this book… 1- it is a little out of date AND 2- it is a limited tool for identifying organisms.
All that aside, it is a very good book to teach the CONCEPTS of taxonomy to students. The keys have nice flow charts that teach students to make the kinds of decisions that they need identify insects.
Does it have legs? Or not?
Does it have wings? Or not?
Does it have one claw? Or two?
The keys use pictures so that the process does not become bogged down in terminology. Thus I highly recommend it to teachers and to parents that are helping there child build their own entomology collection. I keep a copy for work shops.
The color plates in the back are beautiful and help convey the appearance of specimens in life. Most of the book has nice grey-scale illustrations.
The Author is a mayfly specialist… one of THE mayfly specialists in the world…
If you are interested in this book there are other titles you may find interesting. Try Reese Voshell’s book if you are interested in teaching insects to older kids, or for watershed monitoring groups. [2002: A Guide to Common Freshwater Invertebrates of North America]; it also contains lots of interesting ecologic information.
If you are interested general taxonomy of aquatic insects, try Merritt and Cummins 1996 [An Introduction to the Aquatic Insects of North America]. It provides the best keys to genus-level for most insects. But be aware that a new edition should be out in 2 years or so… this book is not real friendly if you have not had a college-level entomology… but i heard a rumor that that there will be a nice glossary in the new edition that should make it more accessible…
of course not all aquatic invertebrates are insects… if you are interested in these critters (amphipods, snails, etc) try Thrope and Covich 2002 [Ecology and Classification of Freshwater Invertebrates]
Note that, for genus-level-taxonomy, the last two books will require access to a medium to High-quality dissecting microscope and may require a compound microscope. The Books by McCafferty and by Voshell do not require as much magnification…
If you would like further information you can email me and I will be glad to help. firstname.lastname@example.org