Princeton Nature

The Lives of Beetles: A Natural History of Coleoptera

A richly illustrated introduction to the incredible world of beetles


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Mar 7, 2023
150+ color illus.
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With some 400,000 species, beetles are among the largest and most successful groups of organisms on earth, making up one-fifth of all plant and animal species. No other animals exhibit such a dazzling range of size, form, and color. Mostly small, sturdy, and compact, beetles are incredibly well-equipped to find food, reproduce, and avoid predators. Additionally, their collective roles as herbivores, hunters, and recyclers are critical to the sustainability of terrestrial ecosystems. In this lavishly illustrated book, beetle expert and author Arthur Evans presents an inviting and comprehensive introduction to the fascinating lives of the world’s beetles.

Universal in scope, The Lives of Beetles is packed with the latest scientific findings, presented in an accessible way. Individual chapters cover beetles’ structure and function; evolution, diversity, classification, and distribution; communication, reproduction, and development; feeding habits; uses in medicine, science, and technology; and study and conservation. Each chapter concludes with nine stunningly illustrated profiles that highlight the lives of some of the world’s most beautiful and interesting species. The book also features an up-to-date family classification, a glossary, and suggestions for further reading.

We need beetles for the ecological services they provide, the technological innovations they inspire, and the scientific insights they reveal, so it is essential that we all get to know beetles better and strive to conserve their habitats. The Lives of Beetles is the perfect place to begin this journey of discovery and understanding.