A Guide to Common Freshwater Invertebrates of North America

By J. Reese Voshell, Jr.

Provides background on the biology & ecology of freshwater environments & explains why & how this group of organisms can be studied, simply & without complex equipment, in the field. Interest in the observation & study of freshwater invertebrates is increasing; meets the needs of this growing audience of anglers & others interested in aquatic biology. 100 specimens. 135 B&W illus by Amy Bartlett Wright, 103 color pgs; 5x8 inches, 454 pgs.


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ISBN: 0-939923-87-4

EAN: 978-0-939923-87-8

Binding: Softcover

Publish Date: 15/03/2002

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Popular interest in the observation and study of freshwater invertebrates is increasing. A Guide to Common Freshwater Invertebrates of North America meets the needs of this growing audience of teachers, amateur naturalists, environmentalists, anglers, and others interested in aquatic biology by providing substantive information in non-technical language for about 100 of the most common groups of invertebrates found in the inland waters of North America.

Section I of the book provides background on the biology and ecology of freshwater environments and explains why and how this group of organisms can be studied, simply and without complex equipment, in the field and the laboratory.

Section II describes nearly 100 of the most common groups of invertebrates, usually at the taxonomic level of order or family. For each group, a whole-body color illustration is provided along with brief text pointing out the most important features to use to identify members of the group.

Section III contains expanded descriptions of the life histories, behavior, and ecology of the various invertebrate groups, and identifies their important ecological contributions and relationships to humans.

This guide has several strengths: it is broad in scope, geographically and taxonomically; it is written at a substantive yet easily accessible level that will appeal to both general readers and those with more advanced interest in the subject; and it contains numerous high-quality illustrations, including more than 100 specially commissioned color plates by the well-known scientific illustrator Amy Bartlett Wright, which will greatly facilitate the easy and rapid identification of specimens.

"[Voshell's book is] much more than the typical field guides on the market today.... A comprehensive guide and study tool, it is part field guide and part biology text, the combination of which is what makes this book unique and valuable.... As complete a guide book as you will ever find or need." (Ecobeetle Book Reviews, August 8, 2002)

"Any naturalist who works with freshwater environments will want a copy of this book as a valued reference. It provides an amazing and comprehensive summary of the most common aquatic invertebrates." (Ohio Dragon Flier, September 2002)

"This book is an excellent introduction to the diversity of invertebrates found in the lakes and streams of North America. It is well written and easy to follow for novices and more experienced investigators of these animals. It is intended for a wide audience and includes helpful information for middle and high school students and teachers, as well as local citizens engaged in stream monitoring or other projects investigating their local watersheds. It will also be useful for college-level courses that involve aquatic ecosystems but do not focus specifically on aquatic invertebrates. Additional readers are likely to include anglers and other naturalists interested in learning more about life below the water's surface." (American Entomologist, Summer 2004)

Dr. J. Reese Voshell, Jr.,
was born in Elizabeth City, North Carolina and grew up in Norfolk, Virginia. He holds a BS from Randolph-Macon College and a PhD from Virginia Tech. He has taught in the Department of Entomology at Virginia Tech since 1976 and has been named to the University's Academy of Teaching Excellence. He has received numerous research grants to study the effects of pollution and environmental stress on freshwater invertebrates. Reese's 30 years of teaching, outreach, and research have convinced him that people of all ages, educational backgrounds, and personal interests can become fascinated with freshwater invertebrates. Reese has worked for years with public agencies and private organizations to design and improve water quality monitoring protocols using freshwater macroinvertebrates. Click here to see a recent article he co-authored in American Entomologist, "Volunteer Biological Monitoring: Can It Accurately Assess the Ecological Condition of Streams?"

Dr. Voshell is a member of the M & W Speakers Bureau.

Additional information

Weight 1.2 lbs
Dimensions 5.2 × 0.8 × 8.2 in


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