Synopses & Reviews
An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles is an authoritative reference in a breathtakingly beautiful volume, one that will leave every reader with a deeper understanding, appreciation, and yes fondness for these amazing creatures and their place in nature. In terms of numbers, beetles are the most successful creatures on earth: about 350,000 species of beetles have been described since 1758. They range from tiny to gigantic, occupy sundry habitats, and eat everything plants, animals, and their own remains. An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles provides an engaging look at these magnificent yet poorly understood creatures and highlights the absolutely essential role they play in the dynamics of nearly every terrestrial ecosystem on Earth. And, as this book beautifully demonstrates, the aesthetics of beetle design are amazing. The fantastic colors and shapes of these creatures warrant the gorgeous color photography lavished on them in this book.
"An authoritative reference volume resplendently illustrated with line drawings and color photographs." Nature
"Here is the non-specialist's chance to be inspired. Evans' and Bellamy's journey through beetle ecology is everywhere enhanced by Watson's bright pictures of some of nature's most exquisite creatures. Seek fondness, yes; find wonder and awe." BBC Wildlife Magazine
"This beautiful book...recounts not only the natural history of beetles but the human history of them as well. The best thing about this book, however, is the photographs. The specimens are more beautiful than nearly anything made by man, and proof not only of God's fondness for these creatures but also of His exquisite good taste." Washington Post
"These two scientists not only display some of the most spectacular specimens, but also give fascinating accounts of the strange life cycles and morphologies of these often ignored arthropods." E Magazine
"'Beetles rarely elicit from us the feelings of sympathy we easily afford cute and cuddly vertebrates,' the authors lament. So they have advanced an agenda of 'beetlephilia,' a scientific appreciation of the importance of beetles to the global ecosystem and a personal feeling that, by gosh, beetles sure are fascinating. They build a good case. Beetles more precisely, insects belonging to the order Coleoptera make up a hefty 20 percent of all known biological species and display a dazzling array of behavioral and morphological adaptations. The book's playfully artistic photographs give those facts and figures a rare visual grounding." Scientific American
Includes bibliographical references (p. 200-203) and index.
About the Author
Arthur V. Evans
is a free-lance author and photographer living in Richmond, VA. Charles L. Bellamy
works for the Plant Pest Diagnostic Laboratory, Calif.
Dept. of Food and Agriculture, Sacramento. Lisa Charles Watson is an award-winning photographer who works in New York City.