Still here…

I haven’t updated this in awhile, so here goes.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to collect much this year.  My trip to Kentucky in May was cool and wet, not necessarily the best weather.  I did see a lone Calosoma scrutator at my light though, which are always neat to see.  A quick sort thru from my light trap didn’t turn up much, but I still need to go thru it in more detail.  There was one beetle that I’m pretty sure belongs to the Clambidae, so I’ll be excited to look at it closer.  If so, it will be the first time I’ve collected that family.  The next morning, I found a Loxocera cylindrica, my first rust fly.

My other chance at collecting was at home in early August.  I decided to throw out the blacklight to see what was around.  I haven’t really sorted thru my sample yet, but I did see one exciting bug, a unique-headed bug (Enicocephalidae).  Only my second specimen, the first having been taken in a Lindgren funnel trap.

Earlier this year, I ordered a copy of Yves Bousquet’s book “Illustrated Identification Guide to Adults and Larvae of Northeastern North American Ground Beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae).  I haven’t tried using it for keying beetles yet, but thought I’d talk about some of my impressions so far:

  • Expensive.  Well, any book like this is bound to be expensive.  The cost is around 100 dollars, but since it is sold by Pensoft, you’ll have add international shipping.  Total cost about 120 dollars.
  • “Northeastern” is used narrowly here.  Yves only considers the following states/provinces for this work: VT, NH, and ME in the US, and Quebec eastward in Canada.  I was expecting a somewhat broader area of coverage.  Still, the guide’s excellent coverage will make it useful for adjacent regions.
  • Heavy on abbreviations.  Species information is succinctly presented within the  keys, using a number of abbreviations.  Not really a fault, but will require some page flipping to look up the meanings until the user becomes familiar with them.
  • Excellent glossary.
  • Very nicely illustrated, including both key characters and the color habitus photos.
  • A very detailed section on larval identification.  As with the section on adults, this has a comprehensive glossary and is well-illustrated.  I’ve never worked with larvae, but I’m going to have to try it sometime.

All in all, a great book.

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