Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Research Vol. 13, No. 2, 2003. Copyright © 2003 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


John Acorn has taken a nontraditional, perhaps even a little eccentric, approach to this first volume in a series on Alberta insects. Well known for his television series Acorn: The Nature Nut, the author draws on his expertise to give us a colorful and informative examination of tiger beetles, masterfully expelling scientific jargon along the way and replacing it with more user-friendly terminology.

Acorn opens with a personal account of how he got involved in "tiger beetling," adding folklore-including colorful terms such as "chicken choker" (apparently a Southeastern US term for tiger beetles)-to his account as well as warnings of the dangers of tiger beetle searches, which may involve rattlesnakes, grizzly bears, and irate ranchers.