American Birding Podcast



Beetle Mania

A couple of years ago I wrote a column in Winging It about some of my favorite non-birding books for birders.  Commentators in a followup blog post generated many more great book titles that appeal to travel and unfeathered natural science topics of interest to those who pursue wild birds.


Just in time for the summer season, Princeton University Press has published another wonderful reference to keep critter-loving folks blissed out: Beetles of Eastern North America.  The scale of the book is amazing, with over 1500 images filling 560 pages.  And great news for us westerners:  A western North American edition is planned for 2018.

From the publisher:

Beetles of Eastern North America is a landmark book–the most comprehensive full-color guide to the remarkably diverse and beautiful beetles of the United States and Canada east of the Mississippi River. It is the first color-illustrated guide to cover 1,406 species in all 115 families that occur in the region–and the first new in-depth guide to the region in more than forty years. Lavishly illustrated with over 1,500 stunning color images by some of the best insect photographers in North America, the book features an engaging and authoritative text by noted beetle expert Arthur Evans.

 Extensive introductory sections provide essential information on beetle anatomy, reproduction, development, natural history, behavior, and conservation. Also included are tips on where and when to find beetles; how to photograph, collect, and rear beetles; and how to contribute to research. Each family and species account presents concise and easy-to-understand information on identification, natural history, collecting, and geographic range. Organized by family, the book also includes an illustrated key to the most common beetle families, with 31 drawings that aid identification, and features current information on distribution, biology, and taxonomy not found in other guides.

An unmatched guide to the rich variety of eastern North American beetles, this is an essential book for amateur naturalists, nature photographers, insect enthusiasts, students, and professional entomologists and other biologists.


  • Provides the only comprehensive, authoritative, and accessible full-color treatment of the region’s beetles

  • Covers 1,406 species in all 115 families east of the Mississippi River

  • Features more than 1,500 stunning color images from top photographers

  • Presents concise information on identification, natural history, collecting, and geographic range for each species and family

  • Includes an illustrated key to the most common beetle families


    This exciting book begs the question, what are your favorite non-birding books for birders?