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Royal Entomological Society Book of British Insects Hardcover – 7 Oct 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 396 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (7 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444332562
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444332568
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 2.7 x 28.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 65,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

A remarkable book, and at a remarkable price . . . It should be available in all field centres and field stations where ecological studies and teaching take place. Further, for the general naturalist, it will be an eye–opener to the diversity of insects even within the British Isles and something they will wish to have to hand on their shelves. It can be unreservedly recommended.   (Biodiversity and Conservation, 1 October 2012)

Anyone who wants to know more about British insects will need this major reference, as it refers to all the latest literature and includes websites of note at the end of many orders. This really is an excellent tome, either as a coffee table book or as an up–to–date reference book that does not cost the earth.   (Reference Reviews, 1 December 2012)

However, this is a very minor point and it is a magnifi cent work which, if nothing else, shows where the gaps in our knowledge are and, hopefully, will encourage future entomologists to fi ll them. The author is to be congratulated!.   (British Ecological Society Bulletin, 1 March 2012)

Recommended.  Only comprehensive entomology collections serving general readers and undergraduate students. ( Choice, 1 March 2012)

Celebrating the work of the Royal Entomological Society (RES) founded in 1833, and the wonderful diversity of the insects of the British Isles, this book is a key reference work for students and amateur entomologists, as well as a comprehensive information source for professionals.   (Wildlife, 2012)

"British Insects is destined to become the standard reference and the starting point for any investigation of the British insect fauna. It will be an essential addition to the libraries of Universities, research centres, natural historians and academics ... These combine to form a wonderful package that should inspire a new generation of entomologists and natural historians. Sonia Copeland Bloom and the A.E.S. are to be congratulated on a winning formula. Every school in the UK should have a set." (Antenna Review, 2012)

"In this introduction to this book on insects, Peter Barnard makes a very good point about sharing of knowledge." (Science Spin, 1 January 2012)

"Generally, the book is very readable, beautifully illustrated and very informative for those who are not primarily interested in morphology, phylogeny and evolutionary history. It can be recommended to amateurs and to all those who want to make themselves familiar with the rich and exceptionally well–investigated fauna of the British Islands." (Journal Zoological Systematics & Evolutionary Research, 2011)

"These points are perhaps carping: the book is welcome, a fine achievement, and will assuredly be a classic in entomological publishing in Britain." (Journal Insect Conserv, 2011)

"This really is an excellent book. Printed to the highest standards with a huge collection of excellent
photographs, it can stand alone as a coffee table book, or as the most up–to–date reference book to
this broad taxa published. For such a lavish book, I would say (even for a poor student like myself)
that the price is certainly worth it. I can see this being at my right hand side for many years to come." (The Amateur Naturalist magazine, 2011)

"A thorough introduction to the insects of Britain!." (Guardian.co.uk, 30 October 2011)

"I have on my desk a copy of the newly published The Royal Entomological Society Book of British Insects by Peter C. Barnard, and it will make your head spin as much as anything Stephen Hawking ever wrote. It takes you through all 558 families of British insect; as a comparison, there are only 153 families of mammals in the entire world. It is a master–word of completeness; it includes 6,600 genera and 24,000 species of which only 55 have protected status.

As you look at insects you cease to see biodiversity as something weird or amusing or defined by collections. You understand that biodiversity is fundamental. It is nothing less than the way that life on earth works. Making more and more and more different kinds of things is the basic mechanism of life. You can reach this conclusion by turning to any page of this marvelous book." 

Simon Barnes, Wild Notebook, (The Times, 8 October 2011)

From the Back Cover

The Royal Entomological Society (RES) and Wiley–Blackwell are proud to present this landmark publication, celebrating the wonderful diversity of the insects of the British Isles, and the work of the RES (founded 1833).

This book is the only modern systematic account of all 558 families of British insects, covering not just the large and familiar groups that are included in popular books, but even the smallest and least known. It is beautifully illustrated throughout in full colour with photographs by experienced wildlife photographers to show the range of diversity, both morphological and behavioural, among the 24,000 species.

All of the 6,000 genera of British insects are listed and indexed, along with all the family names and higher groups. There is a summary of the classification, biology and economic importance of each family together with further references for detailed identification. All species currently subject to legal protection in the United Kingdom are also listed.

The Royal Entomological Society is one of the oldest and most prestigious of its kind in the world. It is the leading organisation for professional entomologists and its main aim has always been the promotion of knowledge about insects. The RES began its famous Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects in 1949, and new works in that series continue to be published. The Royal Entomological Society Book of British Insects has been produced to demonstrate the on–going commitment of the RES to educate and encourage each generation to study these fascinating creatures.

This is a key reference work for students of entomology and amateur entomologists, as well as for professionals who need a comprehensive source of information about the insect groups of the British Isles with which they may be less familiar.


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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Gordon Bristowe on 27 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a good book for anyone seeking to gain a comprehensive overview of British insects to family level, as a basis for progressing to a serious study of selected groups. It is not intended to be an identification guide in itself but is an aid to gaining the level of skills and knowledge needed to make use of specialist identification guides.
I do not think it suitable for anyone with a merely casual interest in insects because it requires a lot of effort to get to grips with the content sufficiently to be able to apply it meaningfully, and the profusion of scientific names can be a real strain on one's memory.
Nevertheless It can be interesting to dip into out of curiosity and find things you never knew existed, often with fascinating lifestyles.
The images are informative and the text very readable, it is the enormity of the subject matter that is difficult to cope with!
Despite the difficulties I am glad I own it, and I have occasionally got near enough to an identification of a specimen to be able to search the web and find out what the species name is.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Paul Brock on 5 Oct. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Anyone who wants to know more about British insects will need this major reference, as it refers to all the latest literature and websites of note. For each order, there is a note of the number of species and families, useful introductory text and comments on key publications, brief notes on families and listings of British genera. Species with legal protection are listed in a 'Species of Conservation Concern' section. Readers will find the many photographs useful, although some are presumably from slides and lack the detail of some digital images. This is not an identification guide, but a crucial overview for entomologists and is highly recommended.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By JJ on 29 Dec. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book as an early Christmas present to myself and I was not disappointed.
To be able to produce a book on all the families and orders of insects found in the UK is no small undertaking. To then make the book both informative and succinct is a triumph for Peter Barnard and his colleagues. The quality of the photographic illustrations is high, providing as much clear detail for identification as could be reasonably demanded. The book does very well, in my opinion, to cover the breadth of the subject without falling into either superficiality or unduly dense scientific detail.
A book for the fascinated amateur and the professional who wishes to find information on a Family outside of their specialism.

JJ
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a magnificent volume. Every family of the vast number of British insects is identified. There are detailed descriptions, clear photos (many taken by the author) and it's couched in plain English. This is a book for the specialist entomologist or for the amateur enthusiast. It bridges the gap between pure scholarship and general interest. If you want to take your study any further there is a comprehensive bibliography with the relative merits of many of the sources given a mention.
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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Hawk on 27 Dec. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Alas, this book wasn't what I was lead to believe it to be. It is VERY basic in its descriptions, is minimal on the picture front and is basically just a list of further reading and websites to visit. So disappointing that I'm sending it back. Such a shame considering who publishes this book.
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