Featuring full-color photography of over 1,200 insect species, Field Guide To Insects Of South Africa is a comprehensive guide to insect fauna of South Africa, now in an updated 2004 edition. Senior Zoology Lecturer Mike Picker, Associate Zoology Professor Charles Griffiths, and retired entomologist Alan Weaving combine their knowledge and expertise in this guide that offers extensive identification details, maps of regional habitats, and basic biology information allowing for quick and simple field identification of insect species. An index of scientific names, and an introduction to insect hunting and classification round out this easy-to-use guide for amateur nature lovers and professional zoologists alike.
Even those insect lovers not living in or bound for South Africa will want a copy of the guide. Clarity defines every aspect of the effort. The introductory material hits just the right general notes regarding life cycle and taxonomic matters. The photographs mesmerize. All or most seem to have been taken with insects in situ. And it not just the showy and clever mimics, such as flower mantids of Hymenopodidae, that get hold of the mind. Every photograph tantalizes the desire to know more, see more, and get out and observe nature. The succinct text gives enough details to ensure that the ways and likely whereabouts of a family are understood. Peculiarities such as the order Strepsitera in which the parasitic females never live apart from the insect host while the males fly freely are described well. A one-page essay on insect photography addresses the depth-of-field issue that all photographers of the six-legged world know well. Indexes to scientific and common names, a further reading list, a list of Websites, and a glossary fortify what is simply a splendid book.