The Biology of Tiger Beetles by Barry Knisley and Tom Schultz
Tiger Beetles are one of the natural weapons in the arsenal of those of us who spend time trying to teach non-entomologists that insects are worth a second look even if they are not butterflies. In the UK I have used both the local Cicindela campestris and the Indian Anthea sexguttata to great effect. Their bright colours, alert postures, formidable mandibles and even their very name 'Tiger Beetles' all combine to make them instant winners in the glamour insect parade. They have also easily captured the heart of many amateur naturalists and professional entomologists, to such an extent that they have their own newsletter.
I am not immune to their beauty either and it was a great pleasure to receive this book and an even greater pleasure to read it. Although designed as a field guide to the species found in the South Atlantic States of the USA the authors have been exceedingly generous their introductory chapters. These comprise a well written 70 page synopsis of the ecology of the Cicindelidae which greatly enhances the educational value of the book.
The 2nd part of the book is the systematic section giving details of identification, ecology and status of all the species occurring in the area covered. The book is further enhanced 30 distribution maps and 31 colour plates depicting the 31 species which occur in the designated area. Also contains a reasonable bibliography, a glossary and a final chapter on collection and study.
Chapters include:- Systematics; Biogeography and Geographic Variation; Development; Life History and Seasonality; Larval biology; Adult biology; Natural enemies and Defences; Conservation; Cicindelid Habitats of the South Atlantic States; Species Accounts; Methods for collection and Study of Cicindelidae.
all in all a very useful, informative and attractive book. A real pleasure to own and use, who knows one day I may even get to the South Atlantic States of the USA.
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