Bugopedia: The Complete Guide to Everything Insect

192p. further reading. photos. websites. Time. Apr. 2015. pap. $19.95. ISBN 9781603209885.
Gr 3–5—More than 100 million species of insects crawl, skitter, flitter, and fly around Spaceship Earth, and this guide allows glimpses of hundreds of them. Introduced by entomologist Brendan Dunphy, currently at work in both lab and field, the fragmented text is broken down into superorders, such as Mecopteroids and Hymenopteroids. Readers encounter an informative paragraph or two followed by a number of color photos and enlightening captions, often accompanied by "Word," "On the Fly," and "Eureka!" boxes and "Brendan Says" comments by Dunphy. Interspersed with the superorder classifications are sections on insect physiology, locomotion, habitats, feeding habits, reproduction, sensory organs, and other bits of bug life. The photos—many of them small—are the attraction here, providing a variety of eyes, legs, wings, antennae, and other assorted body parts in colors and shapes to boggle the brain. The work ends with sections on "Other Creepy-Crawlies," including spiders and centipedes; careers in the field of insects; creative activities in the field, the kitchen, and the classroom; and assorted sources for more material. The lack of an index may limit the usefulness of this compendium. Young researchers seeking dragonfly data, for instance, will have to consult several different sections and still will not have enough to complete a report. And to find an exotic mentioned once? A treasure hunt with no clues.
VERDICT A heavily illustrated, colorful collection of the familiar and the strange, this eye-catching volume is a springboard into the sea of further knowledge for the curious.

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