Taxonomists publish 'Insect Bible'

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Book 'Insectes du Monde'
16/07/2021
Taxonomists publish 'Insect Bible'
post by
Reinout Verbeke

Experts have assembled 1.848 pages of knowledge about all insect orders in a new two-volume book: Les Insectes du Monde (in French). The first part is a practical guide to determine the different insect groups, while the second volume features illustrations.

This manual is the fruit of 13 years of research and the work of 52 world-renowned scientists, including our entomologist Alain Drumont for the chapter on beetles.

The first volume, in black and white, contains 37 chapters, describing all Hexapoda. The Hexapoda are subdivided into four classes, of which the Insecta is the largest. All 34 orders - from Archaeognatha, over Odonata and Phasmatodea, to Zygentoma – are treated. Each chapter includes an introduction, general biology, morphological characters of the adult (and larvae in some chapters), classification with a table of all families (with some or all subfamilies), one or more keys for the determination of the families, the main websites and a bibliography. The 101 keys for determining the (sub)families form the core of this manual. The second volume contains the tables and 542 colour plates that illustrate the 37 chapters of the first volume.

This gigantic work is meant to fascinate and help entomologists, amateurs, beginners and experienced practitioners, students and teachers, consultants, people who work for the protection of nature, environmentalists, agronomists and farmers, veterinarians, forestry people, field naturalists, and to all of those loving nature with an open mind to all living treasures in this world.

‘It’s a fabulous and consistent work’, says Alain Drumont. ‘Describing living organisms and classifying them are fundamental disciplines. They are essential for a true understanding of biodiversity. How can we really know biodiversity if we do not know the taxa and their relationships? It’s like you would do grammar and linguistics while ignoring the words.’

The manual was coordinated by Henri-Pierre Aberlenc and published by Éditions MUSEO and Éditions Quae.

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