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Beetles: The Natural History and Diversity of Coleoptera


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by Stephen A. Marshall, Firefly Books Ltd., 2018.

By any standard this is a big book. It is 2 inches thick, weighs 7.5 lbs., and sports 784 glossy heavyweight pages, most lavishly adorned with color photos. Marshall is professor of entomology in Canada and has authoted at least two other large volumes. Here, he undertakes an ambitious taxonomic review of the Order, supported by various pertinent field observations and illuminating facets of natural histories. There is a dichotomous key to principal Families at the end and an excellent index.  However, this book is primarily geared for academic interest; no space at all is devoted to captive husbandry, despite the fact that keepers and breeders of live beetles are responsible for the lion's share of popular interest in the Order. 

In any case, this is a beautifully produced volume and reflects a real labor of love. It would be a wonderful addition to any entomophile's bookshelf or coffee table.

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