Museum, University of Nebraska State


Date of this Version

February 1997


Published in The Coleopterists Bulletin, 51(3):291-292. 1997. Copyright © 1997 by Brett C. Ratcliffe. Used by permission.


This nicely produced book is a visual celebration of beetles. Consider that it has 140 color photographs on 98 color plates . . . and 26 of those plates are of scarabs. Excellent! One should not construe my possible bias (or perhaps even that of the first author) as too narrow in its focus because the breadth of coverage of this volume is truly beetlewide.

In the Prologue, the authors briefly review the timeless fascination that humans have had with beetles. They note that most people are not aware of the diversity of beetles and are not impressed by such small creatures. Consequently, they indicate that this book is for those who have taken a moment to marvel at these wonderful creatures. Actually, I think the book is also for those of us who intently study beetles. The volume is beautiful enough for a coffee table book and authoritative enough for the laboratory or office.

The book is written in an engaging style that will appeal to the layperson as well as to the scientist. The truly spectacular photographs by Lisa Watson are crystal clear in their focus and depth of field. Yes, they are a bit "artsy" rather than natural, but they are appropriate for this kind of presentation.

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