Top positive review
39 people found this helpful
Essential reference for the entomologist
on 5 December 2005
This is a very useful book which is on the bookshelves of most entomologists and field centres. As a general tool to identify insects to family and genus level it is ideal and widely respected. It is also a great introduction to the different groups of insects and to insects in general.
Bear in mind that it is unrealistic to expect ANY volume to cover all species of insects, simply because there are far too many - literally hundreds of thousands in fact! For example, there are well over 3,000 moths alone in the UK, so people wanting to specialise in a particular insect order will need a specialised identification guide.
The 'Western Europe' book by the same author (out of print at the time of writing this) is also good and possibly slightly better for identifying species in the field, according to some. However, with that book, when you think you've got the exact species the text often says 'one of a dozen similar species'.