Kaufman Field Guide to Insects
Handiest guide to bugs
This is the all-around best one volume field guide to insects in North America. It employs retouched photographs for the images and includes representative profiles at actual sizes, which are very handy. The most difficult task for a guide like this is helping you find your way through 2,350 pictures of bugs. Its solution is a rough categorization of 13 body types, which are fairly easy to browse visually, so generally we’ve been able to identify most of what we find to the genus level. (Species level identification of an insect often requires more information and a microscope. This book assumes you are doing “naked eye” identification.) It is more up-to-date and comprehensive than other equivalent guides. It is also backpackable and ruggedly made. All-in-all a solid dependable guide to this vast kingdom of life.