Cover image for American insects : a handbook of the insects of America north of Mexico
American insects : a handbook of the insects of America north of Mexico
Arnett, Ross H.
Personal Author:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
Boca Raton, Fla. : CRC Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xvii, 1003 pages : illustrations, map ; 28 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library QL474 .A76 2000 2ND EDITION Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



Offering a complete accounting of the insects of North America, this handbook is an up-dated edition of the first handbook ever compiled in the history of American entomology.
By using American Insects, A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico, Second Edition, readers can quickly determine the taxonomic position of any species, genus, or higher taxon of insect known to occur in America and Canada. Every order, family, and genus is conveniently numbered and indexed, making this volume the only complete single source for all of the names of orders, families, and genera currently available.

This book fills the need for an accurate way to identify, with the several hundred drawings and photos, the common insects of all orders. Now there is a tool available to those working without a major collection and library; and those who would like to have a general knowledge of insect life without becoming overwhelmed by the vast number of minute insect species.

This usable guide provides sizes, shapes, color patterns and salient features of some species of each major family by pointing out those groups most likely to be encountered, including all North America pests.

What's New in this Edition?
Researchers in many orders use the results of cladistics, a new tool for determining the relationship of orders, families, genera, and species of organisms, including plants as well as animals Specialists have provided lengthy lists of generic changes Many of the identification keys have been revised by adding more illustrations and making sure all description terms are in the Glossary The bibliographies of each Order section have been updated to include all important works that have appeared since the original edition

Author Notes

The late Ross H. Arnett, Jr., Ph.D. (Cornell University) was a research insect taxonomist, research associate of the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, adjunct professor of entomology at the University of Florida, and a cooperating scientist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Formerly a U.S.D.A. taxonomic entomologist at the Smithsonian Institution, and for many years a professor of entomology at Purdue University and elsewhere, he was also a noted freelance writer of books on natural history subjects

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The most complete account of American insects north of Mexico. This data is otherwise scattered in many publications, some available only in large libraries and some out of print. There are more than 22,000 entries in the index of names (both Latin and common), and more than 7,500 species are discussed briefly, including geographical distribution. Orders, families, subfamilies, and tribes are listed in taxonomic arrangement. Lists of all known genera with the number of species for each is recorded. Description of each family is given together with the life history and biology. The descriptions of species are not detailed, so the book can only be used for approximate (and sometimes exact) identifications. Arnett's efforts represent more than a decade of work, and demonstrate his experience and acquaintance with specialists and the literature. References following each order are somewhat brief. The glossary is adequate. However, the lack of names under the numbered figures is disconcerting: one must search the nearby text for the name of the insect. This handbook is designed for the professional and amateur entomologist, but will be very useful to farm advisors and pest-control operators. Suitable for entomology students of all levels. Recommended for entomological and academic libraries.-D.M. Tuttle, University of Arizona

Table of Contents

Forewordp. v
Prefacep. vii
Part I Introduction
1. General Considerationsp. 3
2. Insect Classification and Systematicsp. 11
3. Identification Featuresp. 23
4. Insect Ecology, Behavior, and Distributionp. 29
5. Insect Collectingp. 37
6. The Orders of Insectsp. 63
Part II The Insect Fauna of America, North of Mexico
1. Collembola (Springtails and Allies)p. 81
2. Protura (Proturans)p. 89
3. Diplura (Diplurans)p. 91
4. Archaeognatha (Bristletails)p. 97
5. Zygentomaa (Silverfish and Allies)p. 99
6. Ephemeroptera (Mayflies)p. 109
7. Odonata (Dragonflies and Damselflies)p. 119
8. Plecoptera (Stoneflies)p. 135
9. Embioptera (Webspinners)p. 147
10. Phasmatodea (Walkingsticks)p. 149
11. Orthoptera (Grasshoppers, Katydids, and Crickets)p. 153
12. Grylloblatodea (Rock Crawlers)p. 181
13. Dermaptera (Earwigs)p. 185
14. Dictyoptera (Mantids and Cockroaches)p. 189
15. Isoptera (Termites)p. 201
16. Zoraptera (Angel Insects)p. 209
17. Psocoptera (Barklice and Booklice)p. 213
18. Mallophaga (Biting Lice)p. 229
19. Anoplura (Sucking Lice)p. 235
20. Hemiptera (True Bugs)p. 241
21. Homoptera (Cicadas, Hoppers, Whiteflies, Aphids, and Scale Insects)p. 287
22. Thysanoptera (Thrips)p. 331
23. Neuroptera (Dobsonflies, Lacewings, Antlions, and Allies)p. 341
24. Coleoptera (Beetles, and Weevils)p. 357
25. Hymenoptera (Wasps, Ants, and Bees)p. 531
26. Trichoptera (Caddisflies)p. 615
27. Lepidoptera (Moths, Skippers, and Butterflies)p. 631
28. Mecoptera (Scorpionflies and Allies)p. 831
29. Diptera (Flies and Keds)p. 835
30. Strepsiptera (Stylopids)p. 921
31. Siphonaptera (Fleas)p. 925
Glossaryp. 935
Indexp. 947

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